A judge told the
two men deemed most responsible for last year's beatings
of two gay men in Santa Fe, N.M., that "you need to see
the inside of the penitentiary." Gabriel Maturin, 21,
and Isaia Medina, 20, will undergo 60-day
psychological examinations at the state prison in Los
Lunas and then will appear before state district judge
Michael Vigil for final sentencing.
"The viciousness of this attack warrants you
going to the penitentiary to see where you will live
your life if this type of activity continues," Vigil
told them Wednesday, to the gasps of their families.
James Maestas, 22, and Joshua Stockham, 24, were
beaten February 27, 2005, in the parking lot of a
Santa Fe motel. Maestas spent eight days in a coma;
Stockham received minor injuries.
Maestas told Vigil he had to relearn how to walk
and talk and do everyday things such as dress himself.
"I will never, ever forget this," he said. "Having
someone hate your lifestyle so much that they would
physically beat you is hard to accept."
Stockham told the defendants, "I will forgive
you, but I won't forget."
Medina and Maturin pleaded guilty last September
to charges of conspiracy and aggravated battery
causing great bodily harm. The charges included
Four other people charged in the beatings also
were sentenced Wednesday under a 2003 state
hate-crimes law. Prosecutor Shari Weinstein, who
helped write the law, said it was designed for such cases.
Joseph Cano, 19; Jonathan Valdez, 21; and Paul
Montoya, 20, each were sentenced to three years of
supervised probation and 500 hours of community
service, including speaking to high school and college
students about what they had done.
Cano, who was accused of driving the others to
the motel, pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy
to commit aggravated battery with great bodily harm,
with a hate-crimes enhancement. Valdez and Montoya were
slated to go on trial April 25 but accepted plea
bargains instead on the same charge, Weinstein said.
Vigil ordered David Trinidad, who was 17 when
the attack occurred, to participate in an intensive
treatment program in Las Vegas, N.M., for sexual
offenders and then go on probation for five years.
Trinidad pleaded guilty in August to aggravated
battery, battery, conspiracy, and criminal damage to
property. At the time of the beatings, he was on
probation for raping a 4 1/2-year-old boy, prosecutors said.
Trinidad, a waiter who served Maestas and
Stockham at a restaurant earlier that evening, knew
where they were going and directed his friends there,
police have said.
Maestas said after the hearing that he was fine
with the sentences for Trinidad, Cano, Valdez, and
Montoya. As for Maturin and Medina, he said, "When
Gabe and Isaia got up and looked at me and said they were
sorry--you can say 'sorry' as many times as you want,
but it doesn't change anything. What happened that
night--10 more minutes, and I would have been