NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The man who admitted to having a role in the torture and death of a 13-year-old was sentenced to 21 years on Friday. Jordan Nunez pleaded guilty for his role in the abuse that killed Jeremiah Valencia near Espanola in 2017.
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Nunez, his father Thomas Ferguson and Valencia’s mother, Tracey Pena tortured the boy for months, beating him, starving and keeping him in a dog crate. Valencia’s body was found in a shallow grave. Nunez’s defense claims, he too, was abused and feared he would be punished if he didn’t participate but prosecutors argued he was old enough to know what he was doing and to stop it.
Friday, some of Valencia’s family members asked a judge to hand down the maximum sentence of 24 years in prison. In the end, the judge sentenced Nunez to 18 years for the abuse and three years for destroying evidence. Tracey Pena was sentenced to 12 years for her role. Thomas Ferguson killed himself in jail not long after his arrest.