PORTALES, New Mexico – Four juveniles were charged with second degree murder in connection to the beating death of a Portales man in early June.

According to police, five juveniles were involved in an altercation with James Roper, 37, behind a Portales convenience store. Roper was transported to a Lubbock hospital for critical injuries where he later died.  

According to the Eastern New Mexico News, one teen was charged with aggravated battery. District Attorney Brian Stover said he believes three of the juveniles may have struck Roper in what they claim was self-defense.

According to court records, Roper was punched and kicked in the head by at least one of the juveniles until he lost consciousness.

The Eastern New Mexico News contributed to this report.