Convicted teen sentenced to state custody

CNJ staff

The 13-year-old convicted in the July 2010 shooting death of 21-year-old Angel Vale has received the maximum sentence under New Mexico law.

DeAngelo Montoya, convicted of second-degree murder, aggravated burglary, two counts of tampering with evidence and larceny, has been committed to the custody of the state Children, Youth and Families Department until age 21.

Ninth Judicial District Judge Drew Tatum gave the sentence Monday afternoon at Roosevelt County Courthouse.

The CYFD has the authority to assign Montoya to a group home or treatment foster care at its discretion. Under state law, he can’t be sent to prison because of his age.

“Throughout this case, I was sickened, disheartened and ultimately left with the question of why,” Tatum said before giving the sentence.

Tatum saw very little explanation or remorse for the killing, he said. All he could do, he said, was follow the statutes and hope Montoya would receive the treatment he needed and be rehabilitated.

Tatum said he thought long-term treatment was crucial.

After the sentencing, Chris Christensen, Montoya’s attorney, said he planned to look at appellate issues still present and proceed appropriately through the New Mexico appeals process.

Deputy District Attorney Donna Mowrer expressed agreement with Tatum’s decision.

“Nothing can bring Angel back, but the judge imposed the maximum sentence under the law, and that was appropriate,” she said. “Law enforcement did a good job gathering the evidence, and I think we presented a good case to the jury.”

“I’m just glad we finally got justice, all we can get, anyway,” said Vale’s fiance, Edward Lucero Jr.

He said he appreciated the efforts of the police and lawyers.

Adriana Lucero, his mother, also said she was glad justice had been served, although they would never get Vale back.

“I’ve forgiven (Montoya), and I hope he gets the help he needs,” she said.