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A judge sentenced Anthony Aragon on Monday to six years in prison for helping conceal the bodies of two teenage boys tortured and shot to death in 2018.
Aragon, 39, pleaded guilty Dec. 7 to two counts of tampering with evidence and a third count of conspiracy for burying the boys’ bodies in a remote area west of Rio Rancho.
Three other men alleged to have killed Collin Romero, 15, and Ahmed Lateef, 14, are scheduled to stand trial in August.
Stephen Goldman Jr., 22, Jimmie Atkins, 25, and Julio Almentero, 18, each were charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery and other charges in the boys’ deaths.
During a sentencing hearing Monday, Collin’s mother told Aragon she spent 10 days searching the West Mesa for her son’s remains before searchers found the bodies.
“I was on my hands and knees, crawling around different areas in the middle of the West Mesa,” Amanda Kimbrel said.
“I was sniffing mounds of freshly overturned earth, sniffing for a hint of decaying bodies,” she said. “Do you realize I would still be doing that today had you been successful at hiding my son and Ahmed?”
Aragon apologized for his role in the killings before he was sentenced.
“I want everyone who loves them to know that I am so sorry,” Aragon said. “I take full responsibility for what I did. I can never make it right, but I can, and I will, be a better person.”
After burying the bodies, Aragon fled to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he committed three armed robberies in three days, according to Nevada court records.
He pleaded guilty in Nevada in 2019 to multiple counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, and was sentenced to between six and 15 years in prison, according to a Nevada Court of Appeals opinion upholding the conviction.
In handing down Aragon’s sentence on Monday, 2nd Judicial District Court Judge Alisa Hart ordered Aragon’s New Mexico sentence to run consecutive to his Nevada sentence.
Aragon told Albuquerque police that Goldman called him seeking help the day the two boys were killed, according to a criminal complaint.
Aragon met Goldman, Atkins and Almentero at a West Side motel and was told that the bodies of the two boys were in the trunk of a white Buick, according to the complaint.
Aragon and Atkins drove the Buick to the West Mesa where they “dumped” the bodies, the complaint said. The two returned days later and buried the bodies out of fear that searchers would find them, it said.