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Alleged attackers
take plea deals in New Mexico bashings

Alleged attackers
take plea deals in New Mexico bashings

A 17-year-old accused in the beating of two gay men in Santa Fe,, N.M., will plead guilty to all charges in connection with the case, his attorney said. David Trinidad, one of six defendants, had entered a not guilty plea in March. His attorney, Stephen Aarons, announced this week that the teen has reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to all of the charges stemming from the February 27 attack on James Maestas, 21, and Joshua Stockham, 23.

"We're pleading straight up to the charges," Aarons said. He added that there are "no promises" that Trinidad will receive any consideration for a lighter sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to charges of aggravated battery, battery, conspiracy, and criminal damage to property. Aarons said Trinidad had only "minor participation" in the attack.

Assistant district attorney Heidi Pircher disagrees. "But for David Trinidad, this incident wouldn't have happened," she said. "David Trinidad was the one who told the group where the homosexual men were staying."

Maestas and Stockham were attacked in the parking lot of a Santa Fe motel after eating with a group of friends at a nearby restaurant, police said. Maestas, Stockham, and their friends left the restaurant after a group of young men became aggressive toward them, according to police. Trinidad, a waiter who had served Maestas and the others, knew where they were going and directed his friends to the motel, police said.

Maestas spent several days in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained during the attack. Stockham suffered minor injuries. Trinidad has "a tremendous amount of remorse in terms of what happened to these two young men," Aarons said Thursday during a court proceeding.

Two of the other defendants in the case--Gabriel Maturin, 20, and Joseph Cano, 19--plan to accept plea deals offered by prosecutors, according to attorneys associated with the case. A lawyer for a fourth defendant, 20-year-old Paul Montoya, said her client has received a plea offer, but she refused to comment further. Attorneys for the other defendants--Isaia Medina, 19, and Jonathan Valdez, 23--could not be reached for comment.

District attorney Henry Valdez refused to comment on any plea bargains offered by his office. (AP)

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