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A district judge sentenced an Albuquerque man Friday to 18 years in prison for the 2019 beating death of 49-year-old Manuel Barraza in a vacant lot in the South Valley.
Anthony Lee Aragon, 35, pleaded guilty in April to charges of second-degree murder and robbery in the April 4, 2019, killing.
Prosecutor Mia Rubin said during Aragon’s sentencing hearing Friday that at the time of the killing, Aragon had recently been released from custody on an unrelated charge to complete an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program.
But Aragon had failed to complete the program, Rubin said. Aragon and Barraza had been drinking together at the time of the killing, she said.
Aragon told 2nd Judicial District Judge Clara Moran that he had completed a GED while awaiting trial in Barraza’s death.
Bernalillo County deputies found Barraza’s body under a tarp and vehicle tires and surrounded by “fresh” beer cans in the 1700 block of Bridge SW, according to a criminal complaint.
Security video showed Barraza and Aragon walk into the vacant lot near Bridge and Goff SW, the complaint said. Aragon was later seen leaving the lot and stopping nearby to change clothes and wipe his hands.
Aragon told detectives he was drinking beers with a man near Bridge and Goff when the man tried to attack him, but deputies found no injuries to Aragon or evidence of defensive wounds, the complaint said.