Judge allows 13-year-old to testify in deadly child abuse trial

Jeremiah Valencia_783363

The state has failed to keep a teenager from taking the stand to defend her mother in a murder trial. 

In January, the body of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia was found along a highway near Nambe. 

Investigators say Thomas Ferguson, the boyfriend of Jeremiah’s mother, Tracy Pena, beat and killed the boy. 

Pena is charged with child abuse for her involvement. 

Earlier this month, the Santa Fe County District Attorney’s office filed a motion to prevent Pena’s 13-year-old daughter from testifying, saying it would be detrimental to her health to revisit the abuse. 

However, a judge sided with Pena’s attorneys. 

That means the girl will be called as a witness in her mother’s hearing next month.

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