Las Cruces—Today in district court, Leonard Telles was convicted of 2nd Degree Murder, First Degree Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence for the death of Jerome Saiz in November 2013.
At 2:30am on November 20, 2013, Saiz arrived at his own home to find his ex-girlfriend of 3 years, Rebecca Gomez, with her new and current boyfriend, Leonard Telles. Telles said he had arrived earlier that day to help Gomez and her young daughters move out of the home. He said when Saiz arrived he got angry and attempted to choke Telles and threatened him with a bat. Telles said he took control of the bat out of self defense and began beating Saiz with it breaking his jaw and fracturing his skull. Believing that Saiz was dead, Telles covered his body with a sheet, dragged it to another room and wrapped it in a carpet. He claims he threw the bat behind the clothes dryer and used a mop to clean the blood so that Gomez’ children did not see what he had done to Saiz.
In cross examination Assistant District Attorney Daniel Sewell questioned Telles about the 10 times he struck Saiz. Telles at first claimed he “blacked out” and did not recall striking Saiz but then said, “it’s coming back to me now.” Telles never attempted to call emergency services for Saiz and said he told Gomez “we need to get out of here.” Gomez was found in Saiz’ running vehicle when police arrived.
After considering all the evidence the jury returned a guilty verdict. At his sentence hearing, set for January 30th, Telles will be facing a mandatory 18 years in prison and a maximum of 42 years.
Rebecca Gomez was charged with First Degree Murder, Kidnapping, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder and Tampering with Evidence.
Gomez’ trial date is set for April 13, 2015.