- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A man has pleaded no contest to killing another man nearly 10 years ago while they were both in a booking area at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center.

Ruben Ortiz, 34, was sentenced Wednesday to 18 years in prison for fatally wounding 47-year-old Calvin Pendell in February 2005 and for attacking a corrections officer in a 2012 incident also stemming from a jail booking, The Albuquerque Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1Hpa5JR ).

The two cases were combined for no-contest pleas to second-degree murder and aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon.

Ortiz encountered Pendell on Feb. 18, 2005, after being transported from the prison in Los Lunas to Albuquerque for a hearing. Ortiz hit Pendell, who had violated his probation in another case and was awaiting booking for attempted possession of a controlled substance.

Ortiz later told investigators he thought Pendell was a dummy and that his head was made of glass. Pendell died less than two weeks later.

At the time, authorities said Ortiz was paranoid to the point of delusions and that Pendell didn’t appear to provoke the attack.

At one point, Ortiz had been declared unfit to stand trial but eventually was found competent, and the case against him resumed in court.

In 2012, Ortiz faced additional charges from the attack on the corrections officer.


Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com



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