A New Mexico man, Tom Begaye, who was convicted of raping and killing an 11-year-old girl with a crowbar has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. Here’s the details on this gut-wrenching case.
It was a crime that shook a community. In 2016, Tom Begaye, 29, was arrested and charged with the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl named Ashlynne Mike in the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. He reportedly lured Ashlynne and her younger brother to his van before taking them out of town. Ultimately, he allowed the boy to escape and he told authorities what happened. But by then his sister had been killed. Head here to take a look back at the celebrities we’ve lost in 2017.
In August, Begaye pled guilty to the charges against him as part of a deal. He confessed to killing Ashlynne by hitting her in the head with a crowbar after sexually assaulting her. Truly appalling. The killing happened at the Shiprock monument, a jutting rock formation on the Navajo reservation. The little girl’s body was later found close by the New Mexico-Arizona border. After the verdict was handed down, Ashlynne’s mother Pamela Foster reportedly called Begaye a “monster,” according to the Daily Mail.
“I hope that, out this tragedy, we can learn that our Native American children deserve the same protection as children in the cities,” Ashlynne’s mother said in a statement following the sentencing. She is working to get Amber Alerts in Native American tribes to help better protect their communities from criminal activity. After reading her statement, friends and loved ones of Ashlynne released balloons outside the courthouse to honor her tragic passing.
HollywoodLifers, are you as shocked by this story as we are? Feel free to share your thoughts and condolences for Ashlynne’s family in the comments section below.