Home El Paso Press Releases 2011 New Mexico Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Murder of a Child
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New Mexico Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Murder of a Child

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 28, 2011
  • Western District of Texas (210) 384-7100

United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that in El Paso this afternoon, 30-year-old Thelton Andres Riley, Jr., was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for the death of a 7-month-old child on August 10, 2009, on Fort Bliss.

In addition, United States District Judge Frank Montalvo ordered that Riley be placed under supervised release for a period of five years after completing his prison term.

On May 11, 2011, Riley pleaded guilty to one count of felony murder. By pleading guilty, Riley admitted that while living on the Laguna Indian Reservation in New Mexico beginning in June 2009, he and his co-defendant, 30-year-old Leesa Trujillo, engaged in a pattern of child abuse resulting in broken bones, namely the upper right arm, both legs and several ribs. The defendants, along with Trujillo’s child, traveled to Fort Bliss on August 8, 2009, so that Riley could receive medical treatment at William Beaumont Army Medical Center. Riley and Trujillo further admitted that they never sought medical attention for the infant knowing that medical treatment for the infant was necessary and was readily available. Instead, Riley gave the child oxycodone and hydrocodone to keep the child quiet. After receiving the drugs, the child died.

On August 31, 2011, Trujillo was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count each of involuntary manslaughter and injury to a child.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. It was prosecuted for the government by Assistant United States Attorney J. Brandy Gardes.

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