LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico teen who beat his younger friend to death will spend the next 18 years behind bars. “The judge sentenced him to the maximum that was allowed under what he was convicted,” said Valencia County District Attorney Barbara Romo.

Brandon Villalobos was just 15 when he beat 12-year-old Alex Madrid to death in Meadow Lake back in 2014.

Madrid’s body was found under a mattress in a field. After a lengthy legal battle over Villalobos’ competency, he was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2020.

During a short sentencing hearing on Wednesday morning, Villalobos, who was sentenced as an adult, got the maximum 18 years in prison.

Romo says she’s just glad the case is coming to a close, and relieved to finally have justice for Alex and his family. “He’ll still be a young man when he gets out, he can still change his life. Unfortunately Alex can’t do that,” said Romo.

Villalobos will get credit for time served, which is seven years and five months, leaving ten years and seven months in his sentence.