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Suspect arrested in north Hobbs murder

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An arrest has been made by the Lea County Sheriff’s Department in a north Hobbs murder that took place on July 17.

Steven Nave, 39, of Lovington, was arrested on Aug. 12 and charged with first-degree murder, a capital felony; tampering with evidence, receipt, transportation or possession of a firearm or destructive device by certain persons (felon) and bribery of a witness, all third-degree felonies.

The arrest came after Clinton Holladay, of Hobbs, was transported to Covenant Hospital Hobbs on July 17 where he was pronounced deceased with one gunshot wound to the lower right side of his head/neck.

According to the Sheriff’s report, deputies were called on July 17 to the area of Grimes Street and Cope Place in reference to a gunshot victim and a possible motor vehicle accident.

When deputies arrived, they saw a female “substantially distraught and had visible red stains on her clothing which appeared to be blood.”

“(The female witness) advised a week prior to this date she had left her ‘ex’ who she identified as Steven Nave,” the report states. “(The witness) stated she was traveling south on Grimes in the blue Dodge pickup truck with the victim, Clinton Holladay. (The witness) advised Clinton made the comment ‘looks like Steven’ in the vehicle behind them.”

According to the report, the witness ducked down in the front passenger seat because “she knew Nave would follow them” and as the two continue driving Holladay stated to her that “he (Steven Nave) was coming up on her side.”

“I just heard a pop, and my ears were ringing, and I looked over and blood started coming out of his mouth,” the witness told Sheriff’s deputies. “(The witness) goes on to say when this happened, she attempted to take control of the vehicle’s steering wheel, but her efforts were unsuccessful, and the vehicle veered off the west side of the road and collided with a tree.”

The witness further told officers she was not able to see Nave, but recognized the vehicle that he was known to drive, which was a silver Ford Taurus.

The witness told deputies she lived with Nave until a week prior to the incident and she was “staying” with Holladay.

“(The witness) stated the vehicle Nave was driving was a silver Ford Taurus and described this vehicle as ‘our’ car,” the report states.

While deputies were transporting the witness to the LCSO, she allegedly told deputies “I’m sure it was Steven though, I know it was. Can I get a restraining order on Steven, I’m sure it was him; I know it was him. I seen our car, and I know, I’m telling you I know for sure, yes it was Steven.”

According to the witness, Nave was driving the same direction as them (south towards Hobbs) when the shooting happened and Nave had been driving by Holladay’s house.

“I (deputies) asked (the witness) if she noticed Steven before they got to a stop sign or before,” the report states. “(The witness) advised he was behind them since they left Clinton’s parent’s house.”

According to the report, a few days prior to the shooting, Nave and his daughter pulled up to Holladay’s parent’s house looking for Holladay and the witness. The father told deputies he did not know who Steven was and had never met him before until that day.

While deputies were at Holladay’s home, they met Holladay’s longtime girlfriend who showed deputies messages between Holladay and Nave.

The message was sent the day before the shooting and states “Dude y don’t u go away? Wreck someone elses family. U think it’s a game? Its our lives. It wont end well. Period.”

“(The witness) stated Steven had gone by Clinton’s parent’s house looking for Clinton,” the report states. “(The witness) advised Steven talked with Clinton’s dad when he showed up over there.”

According to the report, after speaking with the witness, Lovington Police Department deputies located Nave on Second Street in Lovington along with his car which matched the description of the vehicle used in the shooting.

Nave allegedly told LPD officers he had just arrived on Second Street and was “previously at his grandma’s house.”

While en-route to the LCSO Nave asked deputies if “it was his ex-girlfriend that made a call to us.”

A relative to Nave was interviewed and told deputies Nave just arrived at the home prior to the police showing up and Nave “had been upset lately because his common-law wife had left him and their daughter and moved in with someone on the north side of Hobbs.”

According to the report, deputies told Nave his name had come up in an investigation with Nave responding, “Wow man, is everyone okay?”

Nave did not tell deputies anymore after that.

Deputies went to a residence on the 2300 block north Third Street in Lovington where they were told by the homeowner Nave had been to the home twice that day and she was able to provide video of each time Nave was there.

According to the report, the witness allegedly showed deputies messages between her and Nave that had occurred two days prior to the shooting.

Nave allegedly said in a message to the victim “If I get a chance ill do my best to get rid of him.”

“…Thanks a lot… And u ask what he did. He does whats gonna get his ‘expletive’ ‘expletive’ killed,” another message states from Nave to the witness.

“Ur gonna get someone killed,” Nave said in a message to the witness the day Holladay was shot.

Based on video surveillance footage obtained from residences and street cameras, deputies were able to locate and track Nave’s location throughout the day of the shooting that put him “closing distance to victim’s vehicle as they traveled south on Knowles Road.”

According to the Sheriff’s report, a friend of Nave’s allegedly told them “his friend Steven got himself into some trouble” and “Steven told him that he killed Clinton and he could not live with knowing that information.”

“(The friend) stated the night Steven got ‘out of jail’ he came to his house and told him he did it,” the friend explained to deputies. “(The friend) stated he told Steven ‘I heard that you killed Clinton man.’ (The friend) advised Steven told him ‘I didn’t do anything, it wasn’t me, they got door cam footage of me being at my grandmas.’ (The friend) advised Steven immediately told him ‘But I did it.’

“They pulled out in front of me, and I seen Clints truck, and they were both together, and I stopped and put his scope up to him and shot him,” Nave allegedly admitted to his friend. “Steven told him (the friend) after the shooting he ‘tossed the gun off on Wilks (Road).’”

Deputies allegedly located the firearm on July 30 on the west side of Wilks Road.

Deputies were able to trace the firearm to its previous owner who told deputies he sold it to Nave’s father approximately one to one and a half years ago.

Nave is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 17 before Magistrate William Shoobridge.

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