Las Cruces—Today in district court, Leonard Telles was sentenced to 39 years for his conviction of 2nd Degree Murder, First Degree Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence for the death of Jerome Saiz in November 2013.

Telles pled with Judge Fernando Macias stating that prior to this crime he had been studying to be a fireman and had been “ace-ing” all the tests.” Telles said he got sidetracked and wanted to be in love and got involved in a love triangle. He stated that when Rebecca Gomez would call he felt like he had to be there for her and on that fateful day he felt he had to protect himself.

Upon rendering sentence Judge Fernando Macias stated: “There is no doubt that Mr. Saiz was dead or would die at any moment after the level of beating you inflicted upon him. You knew what you were doing was wrong.” He also stated that he strongly believed that Telles was attempting to dispose of Mr. Saiz by covering him in a blanket and rolling him in a carpet. He further related, “You did not call for emergency services and the only way law enforcement showed up was because of fate or as karma would have it an outside individual called police.” Macias stated he noted inconsistencies and lies he felt were clearly contained in Telles testimony.

The Saiz family continually expressed their thanks to Assistant District Attorney Daniel Sewell for all his efforts in this case and that of victim advocate Elima Avalos.

Co-defendant 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.