A dog crate in which a 13-year-old boy from New Mexico was forced to sleep and where he died in 2017 has been put on display by prosecutors during a hearing for the victim’s brother, who they say tortured and killed the teen.
Jeremiah Valencia was beaten within an inch of his life on November 25, 2017 by his mother’s boyfriend, Thomas Ferguson, and then forced into the 26-by39-inch dog crate at the family home in Nambé, north of Santa Fe in New York. Mexico .
Valencia’s brother, Jordan Nuñez, now 23, then repeatedly overturned the coffin – causing the latest injuries to the boy, prosecutors said.
The boy’s body was then wrapped in plastic and buried in a plastic container along New Mexico State Road 503.
Ferguson committed suicide in 2018 at the Santa Fe County Jail while awaiting trial.
Nuñez now faces 14 to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty last March to recklessly admitting child abuse resulting in death, and two counts of tampering with evidence.
A three-day hearing for Nuñez began on Tuesday, with prosecutors arguing for the maximum sentence.
First District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies urged District Court Matthew Wilson to consider Nuñez’s crimes as serious violent crimes, requiring him to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
Carmack-Altwies said Nuñez “knew his little brother, who had just been beaten up, was in this cage” when he turned it over.
Jordan Nuñez, 23 (pictured) faces 14 to 24 years for his role in the 2017 murder after pleading guilty last March to recklessly admitting child abuse resulting in death and two counts of tampering with evidence
Although 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia (pictured) was beaten within an inch of his life by his mother’s boyfriend Thomas Ferguson, who committed suicide in 2018 in the Santa Fe County jail awaiting trial, prosecutors said. Tuesday that the boy’s brother Jordan Nuñez, 23, dealt the final blow that killed him
The dog crate where 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia had to stay and where he died after being tortured. It is part of the exhibits presented at the hearing of his brother, Jordan Nunez
Prosecutors also showed a sledgehammer used to beat Valencia.
“Jeremiah was targeted by those two men,” District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said, according to the Albequerque Journal.
“Basically, anything that could be used to hurt a 13-year-old boy was used on Jeremiah.”
After weeks of beatings in which the boy staggered with a stick from broken ribs and other injuries, Nunez knocked over the 26×39 inch coffin “over and over” while the boy was inside, according to witness statements cited by prosecutors.
Among the torture methods devised by Ferguson to “punish” the boy were to shock him with a shock collar, use him for target practice with a homemade spear, and drop the sledgehammer on his hands.
Relatives told deputies that Ferguson kept Valencia in the crate as punishment, causing him to often sleep there and forcing him to wear adult diapers.
Relatives told deputies Ferguson kept Valencia in a dog crate, which was shown to jurors in court on Tuesday, as punishment. Valencia was in
Among the torture methods devised by Ferguson to “punish” the boy were: shocking the boy with a shock collar, using him for target practice with a homemade spear, and dropping a sledgehammer, which was also shown to jurors by District Attorney Mary Carmack. – Altwies (photo), on his hands
Valencia (pictured) was not enrolled in school and Ferguson had beaten the boy for years, former prosecutor Marco Serna said in 2018
He was out of school and Ferguson had beaten the boy for years, former prosecutor Marco Serna said in 2018.
Roberto Montoya, a contractor who employed and befriended Nuñez and Ferguson, said in court on Tuesday that Ferguson believed the 13-year-old was “possessed” and had contacted a pastor.
The Office of Medical Investigator also found that the boy’s jaw was broken in two places, likely as a result of a “final assault” on Nov. 25, the day the boy died, prosecutors said.
The boy’s autopsy also found lacerations suggesting sexual assault and “parts of his body may have been burned.”
“A perfectly healthy 13-year-old boy could barely walk, could not eat and needed a cane,” said the prosecutor. “Nuñez watched as his little brother stumbled on a stick, bleeding, and did nothing.”
Evidence of Valencia’s blood was found in his room and throughout the family’s home, but was not “visible to the naked eye,” prosecutors said. The largest amount of blood was found in the fireplace, where Valencia was locked behind a specially made door.
Nuñez’s attorney Mark Ernest argued that the real “monster” was Ferguson, who terrorized not only Jeremiah, but Nunez and other family members.
Thomas Ferguson, 42 (pictured left) the mother of boy Tracy Pena, 35 (pictured right) and Ferguson’s 19-year-old son Jordan Nunez (pictured centre) were arrested in February 2018 and charged with abusing a child resulting in death , tampering with evidence and conspiracy to tamper with evidence
Valencia’s mother Tracy Pena, 39 (pictured right), told investigators she was forced to help Thomas Ferguson (pictured left) move the boy’s remains, but kept quiet about it because she was afraid of Ferguson. Pena was sentenced to 12 years for failing to prevent the assault and murder of her son in September
Ernest said prosecutors were ‘immediately focused on’ [Nuñez]’ and ‘tried to make him monster 2.0’ after his father’s suicide.
The prosecution fired back that Nuñez was in fact “monster 2.0,” citing his alleged role in the beatings and disposing of the boy’s body.
Previously, Nuñez’s sister testified that her brother and Ferguson washed the boy’s battered corpse in the bathtub of their home before placing it in his bedroom, where his mother, 39-year-old Tracy Peña, claims she has him. found it.
In September, Peña (pictured left) was sentenced to 12 years for failing to prevent the abuse and death of the Valencia (pictured right) according to the Santa Fe New Mexican
In September, Peña was sentenced to 12 years for failing to prevent the boy’s abuse and death, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Officers discovered the boy’s body in January 2018, after an inmate at the Santa Fe County Jail told them Peña had confided in her about her son’s death.
Peña, who was in prison at the time of death, told investigators she was forced to help Ferguson move the boy’s remains, but kept quiet about it because she was afraid of Ferguson.
Peña was investigated in 2011 by the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department. Valencia and his sister were both placed in the care of their grandparents, but were eventually released back to their mother.