Man who beat, robbed elderly couple sentenced 10 years later


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been ten years of waiting for justice.

Tuesday, the man who murdered a teenager and nearly beat an elderly couple to death was finally sentenced. Michael Swick has been sentenced to 62 years in prison for his deadly crime spree through Cuba, New Mexico.

Michael Swick
Michael Swick

This case has dragged on because of countless court fights and challenges.

The incident happened back in 2006. Swick, his cousin Benito Lopez and friend Alex Ogle spent the day drinking and joyriding.

At one point, Swick and Lopez decided to steal a car but when Ogle tried to stop them, Swick killed him.

He and Lopez then walked up to a strangers house, knocked on the door and asked to use the phone. That home belonged to Rita and Carlos Atencio, an elderly couple.

Rita Atencio says when she let the boys in they beat her and her husband all for $14 and their van.

The Atencios survived despite the gruesome beating.

Swick was initially sentenced to 79 years in prison, but the State Supreme Court overturned the conviction because of a mistake in jury instructions.

Swick eventually pleaded no contest in the case and finally received his sentence on Tuesday.

For the victims and their families, it’s been a long wait.

Benito Lopez pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to 15 years. He is still serving his sentence at the State Pen in Santa Fe.

The Atencios also filed a lawsuit against Cibola County following the crime after learning Swick was accidentally released from custody before the beating and murder. They later dropped that case but reserved the right to refile. 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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