DA: Man accused of killing 13-year-old dead in apparent suicide | KOB 4

DA: Man accused of killing 13-year-old dead in apparent suicide

The Associated Press and Joy Wang
April 30, 2018 05:56 AM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The chief prosecutor for the Santa Fe area says a man accused of killing a 13-year-old boy who endured years of abuse is dead as a result of what preliminarily appears to have been an apparent suicide.


District Attorney Marco Serna says 42-year-old Thomas Wayne Ferguson was found dead in custody Saturday morning at the Santa Fe County Jail. He was awaiting trial on murder and multiple other charges in the January death of Jeremiah Valencia.

In a press conference Saturday afternoon, Serna said Ferguson was in a segregated cell with no mates, adding that there was routine patrol. The DA has filed paperwork to move the suspect to the detention center after a probation violation, but the transfer hadn't happened yet. 

Serna said Ferguson avoided justice but that his office will "continue to aggressively prosecute" co-defendants Tracy Ann Pena and Jordan Nunez.

"I can tell you I'm angry that this happened because I don't believe that Ferguson is going to receive the full justice that my office was going to bring against him to bring justice to Jeremiah, the family and to the people of northern New Mexico," he said. 

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation, and Serna's office is also looking into it. Meanwhile, family members are left wondering if they'll ever get answers. 

"We want justice and he needs to be prosecuted," said Elias Velasquez, Jeremiah's cousin. "But now he's not going to get prosecuted because somebody did something to him, or he got a chance to take his own life."

The family is left frustrated, angry and without closure. 

MORE: Slain 13-year-old 'suffered at the hands of a monster,' sheriff says

"It's not about us. It's not about you. It's not about me. It's not about anybody," Velasquez said. "It's about Jeremiah and it's about the other kids here in New Mexico that are getting killed by these people."

The people who would have sat on the opposite side of a courtroom are asking the same question. 

"Something's not adding up. It's just not adding up to me," said Laura Medina, Ferguson's sister. "I was upset with him, not going to lie. I was upset with him when it happened. I didn't know how to take it; I'm still upset. The child had his whole life ahead of him. 13 years old, you know, but at the end of the day, he's my brother. There's no denying that."

Pena was the boy's mother. Ferguson was her boyfriend and Nunez was her adult son.

Police said Ferguson brutally beat the teen to death while Pena was in jail on a warrant for failing to appear in court.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


The Associated Press and Joy Wang

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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