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Las Cruces woman given 20-year prison sentence in slaying of man whose body was found in burned car

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Damika Childs was given 20 years in prison for her role in a murder when she appeared for sentencing Wednesday at the Third Judicial District Courthouse in Las Cruces.

She had previously pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors to charges including conspiracy to commit kidnapping, aggravated arson, and aggravated battery stemming from the Sept. 2016 slaying of 20-year-old Johnny Ramirez.

At the time of her arrest, Childs was just 19 and her accomplice in the killing was 24-year-old Adrian Banda, whom prosecutors described as the ringleader.

Back in October, Banda was sentenced to 33 years in prison for his role in that crime which included the discovery by investigators of Ramirez's body inside the trunk of a burnt-out vehicle on a Doña Ana mountain road.

Authorities said Childs was the driver of that vehicle used in the kidnapping and killing of Ramirez.

“Damica Childs had a choice of whether to participate or not in this horrible crime," prosecutor Gerald Byers said, noting that forensic evidence and witness testimony showed "Childs as an active participant.”

New Mexico / News / Top Stories / Video

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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