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Federal Correctional Institution, Victorville, inmates Aurelio “Augie” Patino, Christopher “Sneaky” Ruiz and Jose “Torch” Villegas were convicted of second degree murder of a fourth unnamed inmate Jan. 18, following a six-day trial. Adilson “Shanky” Reyes was also charged with aiding and abetting the murder. His trial was separated from the others, and is scheduled for Jan. 24.

According to the indictment, the inmates beat the victim to death in the prison’s recreation yard Oct. 1, 2013, at the encouragement of Reyes.

Patino’s conviction for murder stemmed from a 2007 DUI charge.

Patino was convicted of vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence in Riverside Oct. 11, 2007, according to federal and county court documents.

He was sentenced to 100 months in state prison, according to the Department of Justice, and lost the right to possess a firearm.

He had sold an SKS rifle, with the help of another man, to an undercover agent in Los Angeles County for $340 June 5, 2012, according to past case documents. Patino was charged with and pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a weapon related to that sale March 18, 2013. He was sentenced to the Victorville prison for a 16-month sentence at the time of the beating, according to the Department of Justice.

Ruiz was from San Diego, and was serving a 10-year sentence for racketeering and methamphetamine charges, according to the Department of Justice. Villegas was from Los Angeles, and was serving a 15-year sentence for a methamphetamine case.

The government brought their case Aug. 29, 2018, five years after the beating. Trial was set for December 2018, but was continued multiple times.

The defendants had already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in November, 2022, according to the Department of Justice.

Sentencing is set for June 12. The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the department.

Case information

California Central District Judge Cormac Carney presided.

Gregory Scally, Faraz Mohammadi and Gregory Staples prosecuted.

Public Defenders Samuel Cross and R. Reid Rowe represented the defendants.

Case No. 5:18-cr-00250.

Read the indictment here.

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