New Mexico county faces lawsuit in death of gay man

New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The family of a gay New Mexico man who was abducted and brutally beaten to death is suing a sheriff’s office for not protecting him.

New MexicoA lawyer for the family of Leon Sanchez filed a federal lawsuit last week against Lea County Sheriff’s Department and accused the agency of not properly investigating the case.

According to the lawsuit, authorities were notified in November 2011 by a security company about an alarm at the Lovington home of 49-year-old Sanchez. The lawsuit says a deputy who responded arrived to an empty house, saw unfinished meals but cleared the call.

Deputies say Sanchez and 44-year-old Frank McClain were later found dead in a nearby pasture.

The family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

Lea County Manager Mike Gallagher and Sheriff Mark Hargrove did not return an email from The Associated Press.

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