2 inmates to stand trial for slaying Gene Casados Jr. at Buena Vista prison

PUEBLO, Colo. - A judge says there's enough evidence against two men accused of beating a fellow inmate to death at a Buena Vista prison for the case to go to trial.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports 36-year-old Phillip Saldana and 23-year-old Thomas Mercado are accused of kicking 22-year-old Gene Casados Jr. in the head and body while he was prone on the floor in March 2013. Casados died of his injuries in December.

Saldana is in prison because he shot then-16-year-old Casados in the leg in 2009, allegedly because he was wearing rival gang attire on Pueblo's East Side. Saldana has been serving a 16-year sentence for the shooting.

Mercado, who had been released from prison, remains at the Chaffee County jail on $1 million bail. He and Saldana are scheduled for arraignment June 25.

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