Portales man enters plea agreement in 2015 murder case


PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — A man accused in the 2015 death of another Portales resident who was held captive, burned and beaten has agreed to a plea deal.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that 40-year-old David Smith has agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping.

They say Smith will be sentenced to 15 years in prison, but serve 12 ½ years with the remainder on supervised probation.

A hearing is scheduled Friday.

Smith was indicted in December 2015 on first-degree murder and other charges.

William Vaughn went to Smith’s home in November 2015 and the men allegedly argued.

Authorities say the 45-year-old Vaughn was severely beaten and held in a locked room for 24 hours.

Vaughn reportedly suffered a traumatic brain injury and had burns and severe bruising over most of his body.

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