ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man who lured a little girl into his van, then raped her and bludgeoned her to death, will never walk the streets again.
Tom Begaye Jr. was sentenced to life in prison Friday afternoon for the murder of Ashlynne Mike, a crime that shocked New Mexico.
Begaye knew his fate back in August when he changed his plea and admitted what he did to 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike.
Friday, her parents laid into Begaye in a packed courtroom, calling him a monster.
Begaye lured the girl and her 9-year-old brother into his van in May 2016. He drove them out to the desert near the Shiprock Monument where he sexually assaulted Ashlynne, then beat her with a tire iron. The boy was let go.
In a legal sense, Friday was the last step in a painful ordeal for the family, but they know they’ll never get over the hurt caused by Tom Begaye’s senseless act.
“We do not want his kind in our society. Not necessarily being a human being, but a psychopath like he is, we don’t want anyone like that in our society,” Gary Mike, Ashlynne’s father, said.
Some observers say they have never seen this many people packed into the courtroom, many of them wearing yellow for Ashlynne.
The family says the younger brother is still very traumatized.
The feds did not push for the death penalty in this case because the Navajo Nation is against it.
- FBI arrests suspect in kidnapped girl’s death
- Court documents: Man touched girl, hit her on head with tire iron
- Man pleads guilty in Navajo Nation girl’s murder
- Community gathers to mourn 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike
- Man accused of murdering Ashlynne Mike staying in federal custody
- Shiprock Marathon runners honor slain 11-year-old girl