- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A 33-year-old man pleaded guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap in a case that involved the death of a man and the kidnapping of his friend, the Albuquerque Journal reported Friday.

Chase Smothermon’s guilty plea came in the August 2017 case that involved the death of 41-year-old John Soyka and kidnapping of Soyka’s friend Matthew Tressler.

Smothermon faces between 40 and 60 years in prison.

Smothermon’s girlfriend Mariah Ferry and Jose Torrez were also indicted in the case. All three had been previously charged in state court, but federal authorities took over the case before trial could begin.

The Journal reported that Smothermon outlines the crime in the plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court:



On Aug. 5, 2017, Smothermon was told money and marijuana was stolen during a burglary at his home and Soyka and Tressler were responsible.

Smothermon then set out to kidnap and beat the two men to “teach them a lesson” and “recover my drugs and money.” Smothermon struck Soyka multiple times in the head, bound him, and put him in the trunk of a car where he died shortly after.

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