Suit: NM deputies didn't protect slain man

Family of a man who was abducted from his home and beaten to death is suing a sheriff's office, alleging deputies failed to protect him


By Russell Contreras
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The family of a New Mexico man who was abducted from his home and beaten to death is suing a sheriff's office, alleging deputies failed to protect him.

Leon Sanchez's family filed a federal lawsuit last week against Lea County Sheriff's Department and accused it of not properly investigating.

The lawsuit says a security company notified authorities in November 2011 about an alarm at Sanchez's home in the eastern city of Lovington. The claim says a deputy arrived to an empty house and saw unfinished meals but cleared the call.

The family's lawyer believes if the deputy had issued an abduction alert, Sanchez could have been saved. He and Frank McClain were later found dead in a nearby pasture.

Three arrests have been made.

Lea County Manager Mike Gallagher and Sheriff Mark Hargrove didn't immediately return emails from The Associated Press.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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