SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man charged with the torture and murder of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia appeared in court Tuesday where prosecutors were set to argue he’s a danger and needs to stay in jail until his trial. Turns out they didn’t have to argue at all.
The District Attorney’s office and the defense reached an agreement before the hearing that Thomas Ferguson would remain in jail without bond until further notice.
Ferguson is accused of beating 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia so badly he had to walk with a cane, keeping him locked up in a dog crate at their home in Nambe, and then burying the body off a highway.
Investigators believe this happened around Thanksgiving and that he had help from his son, Jordan Nunez, and from Jeremiah’s mother, Tracy Pena, in getting rid of the body and keeping the murder a secret.
In court Tuesday, the state and defense were in agreement that Ferguson should remain in custody.
In the paperwork, the state pointed out that Ferguson has a violent history and a history of violating his probation.
“Release is not an issue so we’d stipulate to the continued detention based on the probation violation and the probation violation warrant that we don’t expect to be resolved anytime soon. My client has a substantial amount of time in the probation violation,” said defense attorney Tom Clark.
Clark conceded that Ferguson still has time to serve for violating the terms of his probation on kidnapping and domestic violence charges back in 2014 committed against a Santa Fe woman.
Ferguson has a probation hearing on Feb. 19, and depending on the outcome, the issue of his release could come up again.
“If for whatever reason the probation violation is resolved and the issue of release comes up again the state will re-litigate the issue of whether he is dangerous or not and keep him in jail,” Clark said.
Ferguson’s 19-year-old son Jordan is also charged with child abuse resulting in death, so is Tracy Pena. Investigators believe they knew about the abuse and failed to do anything about it.
They both will appear in court Wednesday as prosecutors seek to keep them locked up until trial as well.
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