PORTALES, N.M. — A New Mexico man accused of beating a woman to death with a golf club was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Monday.
Thomas Lopez, 33, of Portales, pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping and resisting, evading, or obstructing an officer, according to a news release from the district attorney for Curry and Roosevelt counties. The sentence includes a four-year habitual offender enhancement in the 2022 death of Subrina Calderon.
Lopez’s attorney, Megan Mitsunaga of Albuquerque, declined to comment on the case, according to The Eastern New Mexico News.
According to court records obtained by KAMC-TV, Lopez and Calderon went to Roosevelt General Hospital in Portales on Feb. 22, 2022. Lopez allegedly told hospital personnel that Calderon, 26, of Carlsbad, had fallen down some stairs, according to the television station.
After Lopez left the hospital, Calderon allegedly told hospital personnel that he “was hitting her with golf clubs, bit her on the ear and punched her with closed fists,” according to KFDA-TV.
Calderon’s family members took her from the Portales hospital to Carlsbad, The East New Mexico News reported. She was later airlifted to a hospital in Roswell, where she died on Feb. 28, according to the newspaper.
Calderon told deputies she and Lopez were in an “on and off relationship for the past year,” according to The East New Mexico News. She alleged that Lopez kept her isolated in a room and was not allowed to use the bathroom.
According to the affidavit, Calderon alleged that Lopez took her to a barn and tied her to a chair, hitting her several times “full force” with a golf club.
According to court records, authorities arrested Lopez after he was found hiding in the ventilator shafts in his Portales home, KAMC reported. He was charged with murder on March 1, 2022, KFDA reported.
According to the news release, Lopez will have to serve 85% of his sentence.