In April 2009, Brandon Barela stole $300 from 51-year-old truck driver Ron Hittson, brutally beat him with a cinder block, and left Hittson to die in a ditch in Clovis, New Mexico.
Hittson was so badly beaten, he was unrecognizable. An autopsy later revealed Hittson’s identity.
Police found the weapon and Barela’s bloody clothes and arrested Brandon Barela.
In 2010, Barela was convicted of first degree murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and tampering with evidence. He was sentenced to life in prison, plus 18 years.
Barela appealed his conviction. Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction and rejected Barela’s appeal.