Well known attorney Robert "Bob" Kinney of Mesilla, NM, died suddenly on February 16, 2022. Kinney lived in the Las Cruces area for 27 years, where he was head of the Las Cruces Office of the Federal Public Defender. Bob was born on September 13, 1946 at Yakima, WA where he spent his first 18 years. His parents, Robert E. Kinney, Sr., an electrician, and Erma Marie Kinney (nee Headl...

Well known attorney Robert "Bob" Kinney of Mesilla, NM, died suddenly on February 16, 2022. Kinney lived in the Las Cruces area for 27 years, where he was head of the Las Cruces Office of the Federal Public Defender. Bob was born on September 13, 1946 at Yakima, WA where he spent his first 18 years. His parents, Robert E. Kinney, Sr., an electrician, and Erma Marie Kinney (nee Headley), a homemaker, passed in 1991 and 2009, respectively. Bob is survived by his wife, Rosa Rodriguez of Mesilla, NM, and by siblings Patricia Aragon (Joe) of Greeley, CO, and his brother and best friend, Gregory Kinney of Sebring, FL. Two other siblings predeceased him, Sharon Lee Genson (Jerome) in 2007 and Linda McAleer (Michael) in 2021. Rosa, the love of Bob's life, became close friends with him in the early 1990s. After some intervening years they reunited in 2013. Rosa has been a wonderful companion and mate for Bob -- fun-loving, unique, smart, beautiful, and caring. They were married on September 20, 2014. Rosa brought beauty and grace to their life. They enjoyed traveling the world together. Bob was a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve from the 1960s. He received a B.A. from Central Washington University, then earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Idaho in 1976. Bob was a solo law practitioner in Orofino, Idaho for 19 years. In 1995 he was hired as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Las Cruces where he diligently defended indigent people accused of crimes in Federal court, and in May 1996 became that office's branch chief. Bob trained and super- vised many lawyers and other employees until 2014 when he retired. He was a long-time member of several criminal defense organizations. At the time of his passing he was an active member of the New Mexico Parole Board, having been appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham with the consent of the New Mexico State Senate. Bob also leaves nieces, nephews and many friends in the U.S. and abroad. During the last three years he especially enjoyed the Wednesday evening meetings with the "Yacht Club" at the Double Eagle in Mesilla. His view of his friends may be summed up by a song line from Tom Paxton: "Thanks for the company. The honor was all mine." His life also was enriched by the hundreds of clients he was honored to represent. Bob viewed their stories as lessons in human frailty and in strength.



Bob gave additional significant time to public service. For weeks at a time he voluntarily taught and assisted young lawyers in Mongolia and in Bulgaria under the sponsorship of the Soros Open Society Foundations. He believed strongly in the Rule of Law. Bob logged 46 years as a licensed lawyer. He was a top-rated criminal defense lawyer, admired by clients, judges, prosecutors, co-workers, other criminal defense attorneys and countless friends. He was proud to have served as court-appointed counsel in nine State and Federal death penalty cases. He was among an elite of the relatively few "death-qualified" lawyers. None of his clients received the death penalty. Bob was a calm, intelligent person who loved horse racing, quality gin, travel, BMWs, New Mexico, scuba diving, ice hockey and lawyering. He believed that his life was a hell of a ride. He suffered the heart attack which took his life while with Rosa shortly after they had spent a fine day at the Sunland Park Racetrack. Bob's friends always were inspired both by his smiling determination to fully live life despite his Parkinson's disease and by Rosa's devotion to him. A memorial gathering will be held at a later time. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Parkinson's Support Group of Southern New Mexico by using www.pmdalliance.org, then selecting the green donation button and adding Bob's name and "for the benefit of PDSGSNM.org."

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