ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE-KBIM) - After murdering a Roswell woman andpleading no contest to six felony charges including second degreemurder, Allen Bruce will now spend almost 50 years in a New Mexicoprison.
In March 2009, he hit Leatha Tidwell in the back of the headwith an ax, and then proceeded to cut off her arms, legs, andhead.
He put them into plastic bags and then boxes, loaded them into atruck and drove from Roswell to Texas where he was finallycaught.
He couldn't face first-degree murder charges because the murderhappened during an argument and was not premeditated.
"I've been a lawyer for 20 years and this is one of the mosthorrific if not the most horrific murder case that I've ever seen,"said Janetta B. Hicks, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney.
Bruce and his lawyer said he only murdered Tidwell because ofalcohol and methamphetamine, but still said he was remorseful forkilling her.
"Leatha Tidwell was a good friend of mine and every day thatgoes by I do regret what I've done," Bruce said in court.
Judge Charles Currier gave Bruce the maximum sentence of49½ years.
Tidwell's friends, who all wore red shirts because of the bloodthat was spilled in her death, said they plan to take their causebeyond the courtroom.
"We're not stopping here, this is just a stepping stone, andwe're going to go on and try and get an anti-mutilation law," saidTidwell's friend Kari Fitzpatrick.
A group of volunteers say they've already met with localrepresentatives, and hope to have a bill in the Legislature nextyear.
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