Mother of boy kept in cage takes plea deal
November 28, 2018 07:54 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. - The mother of a boy who was abused and kept in a dog cage has entered into a plea agreement.
Tracy Pena pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in the death of Jeremiah Valencia, as well as three new drug trafficking charges.
She also agreed to testify against Jordan Nuñez, who also faces charges in connection to Jeremiah's death. Authorities initially suspected Nuñez's father, 42-year-old Thomas Ferguson, as the one who fatally beat the boy. Ferguson was also charged but he died by suicide in jail in April.
The prosecutor said Pena was aware of the abuse Jeremiah faced and did not act.
However, the prosecutor said if it weren't for Pena's cooperation, they might not have found Jeremiah's body.
"These types of pleas, they're never easy to swallow, so to speak. But I think, ultimately, it provides the best justice for Jeremiah and our community and helps us secure a murder conviction on Jordan Nunez in the future," said Santa Fe County District Attorney Marco Serna.
Pena will remain in custody pending her sentencing.
She faces 12 years in prison for the child abuse charge. The nine years she faced for the drug charges were suspended.
Updated: November 28, 2018 07:54 PM
Created: November 28, 2018 04:23 PM
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