Man sentenced for child’s beating death

Steven Gallegos
Steven Gallegos was sentenced to 21 years for the beating death of a 3-year-old boy.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A Pojoque man accused of beating to death his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son, will spend more than two decades behind bars.

Steven Gallegos was sentenced to 21 years for the death of Leland Valdez Tuesday.

In 2011 Gallegos and Tabetha Van Holtz claimed her son fell off a chair but the autopsy showed he’d been beaten to death.

Leland’s father says he reported evidence of old injuries to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department before his son died.

Outside court Leland’s step-mother said that the sentence is not nearly enough.

The mother, Tabetha Van holtz, is also charged in her son’s death.

Her sentencing is expected later this year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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