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Mexican mafia member given life fo first ever ADX supermax prison murder

December 11, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mexican mafia member given life fo first ever ADX supermax prison murder

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A member of the Mexican Mafia, who was already serving a life sentence at ADX supermax prison in Florence, Colorado was given a life prison term earlier this week for the murder of a fellow gang member.

Richard Santiago pleaded guilty to the vicious beating death of another prisoner in a recreational yard cage at the Supermax prison in Colorado back in 2005, Justice Department officials said in an announcement.

In exchange for the man’s plea, prosecutors dropped the push for the death penalty.

The 56-year-old was already serving a life sentence when he kicked, stomped, and beat 64-year-old gang boss Manuel Torrez, who suffered a fractured skull and later died from his injuries.

Federal authorities stated that Torrez, Santiago and his co-defendant, Silvestre Rivera, were all part of the violent prison gang, the Mexican Mafia.

At Santiago’s sentencing, Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Blackburn stated that a life sentence was mandatory under federal legislation.

The man pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and murder committed by a federal prisoner.

Santiago was already serving a sentence for the slaying of another inmate at a different facility several years earlier.

Witness testimony provided during trial revealed Torrez had marked Rivera for death over an ongoing feud.

However, the intended target and Santiago struck first before Torrez could give the signal.

In April 2015, Rivera was convicted after a two-week trial and given life behind bars for first-degree murder for his role in the fatal jail yard beating.

The case marked the first killing that has occurred at ADX supermax, which is the U.S.’s highest-security prison. The three inmates were in the penitentiary’s “general population” rather than the more tightly regulated solitary confinement ward when the incident occurred.

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