Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP
Rios, the teen accused of involvement in the deaths of two American Indian homeless in July 2014 in Albuquerque, was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter, on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 in US District Court in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Each charge carries a sentence of 15 years in prison.

‘Murder For Fun’ Teen Alex Rios Sentenced to 67-1/2 Years

Alysa Landry

A district court judge on Friday sentenced Alex Rios to 67 and one-half years in prison for beating two homeless Navajo men to death with cinder blocks and other objects in July 2014.

RELATED: ‘Murder For Fun’: Alex Rios Guilty of Killing Homeless ABQ Men

Rios, who was 18 at the time of the attack, is one of three teens accused of killing Alison Gorman and Kee Thompson as they slept in an open field in northwest Albuquerque. Rios was found guilty in December of two counts of second-degree murder – each of which carried a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. He was also convicted of aggravated assault, tampering with evidence and armed robbery.

Now 20, Rios addressed the families of his victims in court, apologizing for his actions and begging for mercy. The two men were beaten so brutally they were unrecognizable.

“I can’t even call this a killing,” District Judge Briana Zamora said as she handed Rios the maximum sentence allowed by law. “This was torture.”

Rios, along with Nathaniel Carrillo, then 16, and Gilbert Tafoya, then 15, was arrested after Gorman and Kee were found dead in the early morning hours of July 19, 2014. During initial interviews, the teens told police they were looking for “someone to beat up.” Tafoya reported that he was upset because he had recently broken up with a longtime girlfriend.

The teens tied black T-shirts around their faces then walked to a nearby field, where they found three men sleeping on mattresses. One of the potential victims ran away, but the teens beat the other two men.

The assault lasted about an hour, according to testimony given in court. After the first 30 minutes, the teens left the scene to get knives. They beat the two men with their hands and feet, as well as cinder blocks, wooden sticks and a fence post.

Tafoya, now 17, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a plea deal that required him to testify against Rios and Carrillo and allows him the possibility of release after he turns 21. According to Tafoya’s statement to police, the teens “took turns picking [up] cinder blocks over their heads and smashing them into the male subjects’ faces.” Tafoya admitted to using the cinder block as a weapon more than 10 times.

The attack prompted Albuquerque city officials to establish a task force designed to tackle issues of Native American homelessness. Gorman and Kee both had traveled from the Navajo Nation to Albuquerque in search of work.

In his statements to court Friday, Prosecutor Vincent Martinez called the murders vicious.

“These gentlemen were on a mattress,” he told the court. “They were completely helpless. They were asleep. They could not defend themselves. They were true victims. They never had a chance.”

Carrillo’s trial is scheduled for September.

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Михаил Анатольевич
Михаил Анатольевич
Submitted by Михаил Анатольевич on

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Throw them away and then throw away the key. Wanton violence like this should always be punished to the full extent of the law.

kickapoocandy's picture
Submitted by kickapoocandy on
This whole case is such a sad statement about our society. These three murders are responsible for their own actions true but it brings up questions for me about what parenting they had to make them think doing this was ok. Not knowing right from wrong or their own anger management. As a society we should be questioning environments and parenting that teaches kids that this is ok. Parents should be held partially responsible for what their kids do. Was no one in these kid's lives teaching them right from wrong?

WinterWindTeacher's picture
Submitted by WinterWindTeacher on
My condolences to the families of both Navajo men, Alison Gorman and Kee Thompson. What a very painful and cruel suffering has been put on them, it is a tremendous sorrow to bear. Human beings are not meant to live like this - it fractures a persons being to endure loss like this. There is a tragedy also to the families of the three young men, they are completely lost, they forfeited their own lives by such insane hideous behavior. How could a mother and father not notice their sons behavior, or worse yet in what way they encouraged it? They may have brought a son into the world but they lost him to a monster. Children are a tremendous source of joy to their parents if they are loved and cared for - they usually grow to have good standards, morals, and value all life with regards that they value their own life. It is horrible enough when an adult acts out such inhuman ugliness, but it is even more treacherous when a young adult still in their teens has become so deformed and twisted as to consider that their own gratification is all there is and nothing else has meaning. It says something about lack of guidance or parental involvement in these young men's lives, now destroyed. Prison is a demeaning and breaking place for a human being to be confined, it is sad that such a place is needed. Western European society has not been very positive in its fundamental responsibility toward human being, it's been grossly neglectful. It has built quite a base on its ingenuity for an economic engine. Mass producing product and making fortunes - it is well equipped and seems to spend an inordinate amount of time, attention and commitment to making sure it is in good running condition. I think any system is going to run very well if the people themselves are well. These three young adults will take responsibility for the horror they committed themselves to; I dare to think that society is getting off the hook for its neglect that allowed these young boys to reach an impossible unnatural age of a monster killer. I shake my hand at society and say you are at fault. You said nothing during the extermination of Native Indigenous people, the slavery of Black people, the theft of lands that did not belong to you, the brutal rapes that go on every day and sexualized as if manhood has suddenly been reached. The extermination of the Jews in Europe, Vietnam, Cambodia, add excuse after excuse. If there were any reality to Christian teaching than what did Jesus Christ say? The law as a weapon to use suitably against others? The law was and is to guide humanity in a way that respects life, water, air, animals, plants and human beings. I can not imagine the horror these two Navajo men went through, it is too tragic, but it is too imaginable the neglect and wanton ignorance these young men climbed into, too far for anyone to reach them and guide them to a way that a young man behaves toward others and relates to himself. If one person saw then many knew and still no one dared to open their mouth accept to gossip, gossip good because stupid asses allowed these idiots to go blooming mad and create heartache and sorrow for a very long time. Life is too precious for a sorry to bring it back. It took care, consideration, respect and attention - it took some guts also to stand up and say what is right. It is a hated nation around the world and the people will take responsibility for the crimes it allowed its government to commit The government has propagandized it doesn't matter what you do the 'other', they are different, etc. "You are your brothers keeper " is what Jesus said. Society has been intolerant of difference, intolerable tolerant towards abusiveness and violence, and seething contemptuous of the individual who dares to think and feel for themselves. John Trudell's lyric of 'society's a broken promise...', or 'society of lies... ,'it is experiences like these that remind me of those words in his song. Children should not be a first casualty in any one's war. Why isn't Madeline Albright in prison for crimes against humanity, for starving to death 500,000 Iraqi children?