Suspect in 13-year-old boy's death to be held in jail
September 19, 2018 05:53 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. - A judge ordered 20-year-old Jordan Nunez, one of two remaining suspects in the death of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia, to be held in custody until trial.
The decision followed a pretrial detention hearing, where Jeremiah’s 13-year-old sister testified for the defense.
They argue Nunez was forced to abuse Jeremiah by his father, Thomas Ferguson.
“What was it like living with Thomas Ferguson in Nambe,” asked the defense attorney.
"It was hard and it wasn't very fun," said the teen.
Judge Matthew Wilson ordered the media not to show the girl’s face or use her name.
She testified about the abuse she says her family suffered at the hands of Ferguson, her mother's boyfriend. Ferguson committed suicide in jail in April after he was charged with Jeremiah's murder.
The teen testified Ferguson would even make her abuse Jeremiah.
The teen told the court about the day Jeremiah died November.
She testified Nunez, Ferguson’s son, delivered the fatal blow to Jeremiah, who was locked in a dog cage and recovering from a beating the night before.
"He was shaking it and like making it bounce from its sides," said the teen.
She said her brother made a groaning noise and never woke up.
Nunez is charged with child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence.
Prosecutors say he also tortured Jeremiah with a shock collar and homemade spear.
The defense claims Nunez was terrified of Ferguson and only abused Jeremiah because his father forced him.
"He was really skinny and all his cuts were infected and he had a black eye and his tooth was knocked out," said the teen when the defense attorney asked what condition Jeremiah was in.
Jeremiah's mother, Tracy Ann Pena, who is also charged with child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence is now expected to take a plea deal.
Created: September 19, 2018 05:53 PM
Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved