Wed July 20, 2011
Men Accused of Branding a Swastika Enter Plea Agreements
By Carrie Jung
Albuquerque, New Mexico –
Two of three men accused of branding a swastika on the arm of a developmentally disabled Navajo man have entered plea agreements. State prosecutors say Paul Beebe and Jesse Sanford both entered Alford pleas yesterday in state district court. The Farmington Daily Times reports under an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges there is enough evidence for a conviction but does not admit guilt. Randy Costales is the executive director of The ARC of New Mexico, an advocacy group for people with developmental disabilities. He says he's disappointed to hear about the plea, because the disabled are too easily preyed upon and victims of crime. Prosecutors say they've agreed to cap the prison sentence at 8 years for each defendant and that they won't oppose running the time together for both counts. Editing by Sarah Gustavus.