Nehemiah Griego, a New Mexico teen, pleaded guilty to murdering his entire family. Griego shot and killed his parents, and then slayed his three younger siblings in their Albuquerque area home.
Griego was 15 when he murdered his family in 2013. The New Mexico teen agreed to enter a plea of guilty to the second degree murder and child abuses charges in court on Friday. Sarah and Greg Griego were shot to death first, and then Nehemiah murdered his younger brother and sisters, Angelina, Jael, and Zephaniah, MSN reports.
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Law enforcement investigators say Nehemiah Griego took his father’s.22 caliber rifle and shot his mother in the head while she was sleeping. The sound of the gunfire reportedly awakened his younger brother. The New Mexico teen then allegedly took the head of his dead mother and showed it to his 9-year-old brother, before killing him too. Griego reportedly told police detectives that he then killed his 5-year-old sister and his 2-year-old sister. He grabbed his father’s AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and waited many hours for his father to arrive home, and then killed him as well. Before turning to religion, the elder Griego had reportedly been a gang member.
Griego’s attorney, Jeffrey Buckels, said the teenager has undergone “extensive treatment” since his arrest. A week of hearings are scheduled to take place in January during the sentencing phase of the trial. The teen gunman, now 18, could receive only probation for murdering his family. The court will soon determine whether Griego should be sentenced as a juvenile or an adult, the Spreadit reports.
“The parties believe that this agreement is the best resolution for Mr. Griego and the State, as well as for the victim’s family, which was fully apprised of the agreement in advance of (the) plea hearing,” Buckels said in a release after the guilty plea was entered.
Nehemiah could be sentenced to the minimum punishment of probation, or receive a sentence of life plus 30 years, for killing his family. If sentenced as a juvenile, the New Mexico teen would remain in the state juvenile system until he is 21. A variety of psychological experts and witnesses who were familiar with the family are expected to testify at the January hearing.
According to New Mexico police investigators, the teenager reloaded both the.22 caliber rifle and the AR-15 rifle, gathered more ammunition, and put the weapons into the family’s van. Griego reportedly planned to drive to the local Walmart and open fire on customers and workers. According to police reports, Nehemiah wanted to go to the Walmart so he could “kill more people in a populated area,” and then die in a gunfight with police.
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Instead of going to Walmart, Nehemiah went to the church where his family was deeply involved, and walked around the campus for the bulk of the day. Ironically, a police officer was also at the church complex, teaching dozens of Sunday school teachers how to react when faced with an armed gunman or mass shooting incident.
Relatives of the teen gunman claims he was a typical teenager who had been close to his siblings and parents. Griego reportedly played in the church band and was known for his guitar solos. Both Greg and Sarah Griego had spent a decade ministering to inmates at the county jail. Greg, who was a pastor, was also an Army veteran and volunteer chaplain for the local fire department.
New Mexico law enforcement officials stated that Nehemiah Griego was angry with his mother and admitted to having both homicidal and suicidal thoughts.
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