Albuquerque man learns sentence in 2009 murder case

The Albuquerque man who got away with murder for nearly a decade was sentenced Wednesday.

In 2009, Roger Paul Preston beat Cato Benally to death near Coal and University. Benally was Native American and transgender. 

Preston wasn’t connected to the crime until 2018 when a DNA match came back. It turns out Preston had been arrested for a similar crime—the beating and robbing of another Native American.

Wednesday, he faced sentencing for the murder. With 19 years on the table, Preston pleaded with the judge, claiming he’s a changed man.

“I have been rehabilitated and I have grown up these past 10 years, and once again, I am so very sorry for the loss of the victim’s family,” defendant Roger Preston said. 

In the end, Judge Stan Whitaker sentenced him to 16 years behind bars. 

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