A former New Mexico prison guard has been honored for saving the life of another state corrections officer nearly 34 years ago during one of the nation's deadliest prison riots.
New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel gave Louis C de Baca the Medal of Honor, the department's highest award, on Tuesday during a ceremony in Albuquerque.
C de Baca helped another guard out of the Penitentiary of New Mexico in February 1980 as inmates stormed the control center.
C de Baca was chosen for the honor in January 2013 but initially declined it.
Department spokeswoman Alex Tomlin says C de Baca changed his mind after speaking with corrections officials.
Inmates killed 33 fellow prisoners at the Santa Fe facility, known as "Old Main."
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com
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