ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)— After a nine-year investigation, a suspect has been charged in the violent beating of an Albuquerque resident.
The Albuquerque Police Department responded to a call on July 4, 2009, to find Cato “Terri” Benally with severe head trauma lying near Maple Street NE.
Benally, a transgender male living as a female, died from the sustained injuries after being rushed to the hospital.
Violent Crimes was in charge of the investigation until 2013 when it was transferred to the Cold Case Unit. Five years later, Roger Paul Preston was identified as a suspect.
Preston was indicted for first-degree murder with a hate crimes enhancement as Benally was Native American.
Preston is currently incarcerated at the New Mexico Corrections Department for pleading guilty for beating another Native American, Ronald Begay, in 2009.