To Eileen Quezada and the family of Alexander Vigil: I, Manuel Leyba, am writing this letter to apologize for the incident that happened on June 19, 2015. I’m so sorry for the way that night played out. I know that you will never forgive me, and I fully understand. If it was the other way around, I would do the same thing. I pray and wish that night never happened, because he was also my cousin and a friend as well.
I can tell you I’m sorry a million times, but it wouldn’t change what happened that night. Alex and I were close. We grew up together. I helped him with his graduation party that took place at my father’s home. We were always there for one another. He was a smart man and a good worker. He was always willing to help if anyone needed it.
At the time of this tragedy, he was working as a security guard at the Taos (Pueblo) casino. I’m sure he was good at it, because he was a big, tall man. We used to spend a lot of time together camping and having fun. He was like a brother to me. I wish that night never happened. I’m so sorry for the way it happened.
I ask forgiveness and apologize once more to the family and community.
– Manuel Leyba, Peñasco
Editor’s note: Leyba, of Peñasco, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2016 by a Taos jury in the stabbing death of his 22-year-old cousin, Alex Vigil, the night of June 19, 2015.