Nehemiah Griego, a teenager in New Mexico who plead guilty after he was accused of shooting and killing five members of his family, may only get probation as part of the plea deal. Citing a statement from Griego’s attorney, Jeffrey Buckels, Yahoo! News wrote in a recent report that Griego’s sentencing terms could range from probation to three life sentences plus 30 years if he is sentenced as an adult.
“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,” a statement from Buckels explained.
In January 2013, Nehemiah Griego ambushed his father when he returned from work at night, then shot and killed his mother and three siblings. According to a report from ABC News, after killing his family, the then-15-year-old reloaded his guns and had planned to go to a Wal-Mart store to open fire indiscriminately. Authorities said the boy stated he wanted to shoot people at random and eventually be killed while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement. However, Nehemiah changed his mind and decided to send a picture of his mother’s dead body to his 12-year-old girlfriend and spent part of his day with the girl’s family, according to authorities.
“It is clear to those of us who know and love him that something went terribly wrong,” a statement from the boy’s family members read. “Whether it was a mental breakdown or some deeper undiagnosed psychological issue, we can’t be sure yet. What we do know is that none of us, even in our wildest nightmare, could have imagined that he could do something like this.”
Nehemiah Griego was arrested and charged with the murder of his father Greg Griego, 51, his mother Sarah Griego, 40, and three younger siblings, Zephania, 9, Jael, 5 and Angelina, 2, at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The night of the day after the tragedy, the teenager went to the church where his father had been a pastor and told church members his family had died in a car accident. However, the boy later confessed that he killed his parents and three younger siblings. The reasons for the killings, as stated by the accused, is that he was upset with his mother, Dan Houston, Bernalillo County Sheriff, explained during a press conference. According to Houston, Griego planned the murders for a week before fatally shooting his family members with a.22 rifle and an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.
The shooting attack occurred the same day that thousands of people demonstrated peacefully in the capitals of several states to protest against tighter restrictions on the possession and sale of firearms.
Under a plea deal, Nehemiah Griego, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his parents. He also pleaded guilty to three counts of child abuse resulting in death. The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office explained that Griego is entitled to a hearing to determine whether he will be sentenced as an adult or juvenile because he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and child abuse.
Griego’s hearing was brief and it now ends more than two-and-a-half years of litigation as the teen received extensive treatment from the state, the report states. A week long hearing will be held in mid-January to decide whether Griego, who is now 18, will be sentenced as a juvenile or an adult. If sentenced as an adult, Griego could face up to 120 years behind bars. If sentenced as a juvenile, he would be held in a juvenile detention center up to the age of 21.
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