Fellow inmate charged in fatal beating at MDC - Albuquerque Journal

Fellow inmate charged in fatal beating at MDC

Telea Lui (MDC)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

An inmate at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center is charged with murder after he allegedly beat a cellmate to death Monday evening during a lockdown.

Telea Lui, 25, is charged with an open count of murder in the death of 41-year-old Leon Casiquito.

Prosecutors filed a motion to detain Lui until trial, calling him an “extremely dangerous person.”

“If he is capable of inflicting such violence and killing someone in custody, it is clear that there are no conditions of release that will be able to control him,” the motion says.

Lui, who has “murder” tattooed on his left forearm, had been behind bars for months, accused of beating his mother with a 20-pound dumbbell after hearing voices. A judge declined to detain Lui in that case but required he be kept in MDC until a treatment center or third party could house him. One of Lui’s conditions was that he take all medications prescribed to him.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:

MDC staff responded around 5:45 p.m. to the fight inside the men’s cell and found Casiquito not breathing, with “severe trauma” to his head. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward, and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office was called to investigate.

Deputies said MDC was on lockdown at the time, and the two men were the only inmates in the cell. Blood was spattered on the walls and pools of blood were on the floor.

Lui told deputies Casiquito had been “nagging” him by hitting him in the legs over the past few days. He said when Casiquito went to hit him again, he punched him and went into a rage.

Lui told deputies he punched, kicked and used his elbows on Casiquito “over and over” as Casiquito apologized and asked him to stop. He said he grew tired and had to catch his breath and got a drink of water at one point.

In a phone interview, Kathy Abeita, Casiquito’s mother, said her son was “beaten to a pulp.”

“He beat him up so bad that my son died,” Abeita said. “He was a wonderful guy, kind to everybody. He had a beautiful sense of humor; he just made you laugh.”

Leon Casiquito

Abeita said Casiquito, one of three siblings, started having issues after getting hooked on pain medication following a serious hit-and-run car crash. She said he started drinking heavily to deal with the lingering pain in his legs.

Abeita said she last spoke to Casiquito when he went to jail.

“I’ll miss him greatly,” Abeita said, breaking down into tears.

Casiquito had been at MDC since late December after allegedly threatening a liquor store employee with a knife while trying to steal alcohol. At the time, Casiquito was out on conditions of release in a prior assault case and the judge remanded him to MDC.

Lui’s previous arrest hints at possible mental health issues.

Lui was arrested in July after allegedly attacking his mother at their Northwest Albuquerque home. The mother told police, according to court records, that he was schizophrenic, had hallucinations and did not take medications.

Court records say Lui told police that “the program” told him to attack his mother.

“The program told him to ‘hate’ and ‘be angry’ and ‘do something’ to (his mother),” an officer wrote in a criminal complaint.

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