The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Man gets 46 years for kidnapping, battery

 


CLOVIS — Convicted in April of kidnapping and battery, among other charges, Joshua Romero received the maximum sentence Thursday of 46 years in prison.

Three months ago a jury found Romero, 30, guilty of first-degree felony kidnapping, intimidation of a witness and two counts of aggravated battery (third-degree felonies) and several misdemeanors. The charges stemmed from July 26, 2016, when officials say he “battered (his estranged girlfriend) for over an hour and choked her to unconsciousness several times using his hands and a computer cord,” according to a news release from District Attorney Andrea Reeb.

The victim spoke in court during the sentencing hearing, telling Judge Fred Van Soelen she felt she had died that night. Her parents also spoke through tears in the hearing and asked Van Soelen to give Romero the maximum sentence.

There were strong emotions from those speaking on Romero’s behalf as well.

“He’s made mistakes. He’s not a monster,” his sister Ruby Facio told the judge. Facio cried while describing how prison would separate Romero from his family and children.

Romero’s defense attorney Jennifer Birmingham asked Van Soelen to give him the minimum sentence of 22 years, meanwhile noting failures of the corrective system in which he had been involved since adolescence.

“In some ways, the juvenile system very well failed Mr. Romero, because he’s here today,” she said. “If locking Mr. Romero away in a prison setting would do him any good, he wouldn’t be sitting here today wearing orange.”

For his own part, Romero expressed some remorse.

“The truth shall come to light,” he said. “But I’m sorry for whatever I’ve done.”

Van Soelen said he saw no reason to mitigate the sentence, calling Romero “a violent individual who is a continuing threat to the community” and citing his previous felony convictions, including one for domestic violence.

“It’s nobody else’s fault that you are being taken away and that you are causing your family members’ suffering,” he told Romero.

Romero will serve over 35 years before being eligible for parole, said the release.

 

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