New Mexico teen’s girlfriend cleared in family slayings

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Albuquerque, NM, United States (4E) – The 12-year-old girlfriend of a New Mexico teen, who has been suspected of killing his parents and three younger siblings, was cleared of possible link in the slayings after being interviewed by police Wednesday.

According to authorities, 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego shot and killed his family members at their home in Boulder City using two rifles early Sunday morning, and grabbed guns and ammunition before he drove off, with plans to attack a Walmart later that day.

Griego also told police he texted a picture of his mother’s dead body to his girlfriend, and spent the rest of the day with her, before the pair went to Calvary Church in Albuquerque around 8 p.m. where he told church members his family had died in a car accident, causing someone to call police.

Police revealed Tuesday further investigation would determine if the unidentified girl would face charges in relation to the murders.

Deputy Aaron Williamson, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said the girl was interviewed and she will not be facing any charges.

Responding officers found five people dead at home, at the same time that police recovered a .22 rifle, an AR-15 rifle, two shotguns, and rifle ammunition in the teen’s his van, after initially denying his connection to the crime.

A police report stated Griego admitted the slayings were caused by his frustration with his mother, and added he had plans to shoot up a Walmart and kill his girlfriend’s parents, after killing his family.

The document also revealed that the teen wanted to shoot people randomly and eventually exchange gunfire with law enforcement where he sees himself being fatally shot.

In a statement by relatives, who expressed shock about the murders, Griego was described as an outgoing boy who loved music and had dreams of serving in the military

His uncle, former New Mexico state Senator Eric Griego, said, “Whether it was a mental breakdown or some deeper undiagnosed psychological issue, we can’t be sure yet.”

The statement continued,”We are deeply concerned about the portrayal in some media of Nehemiah as some kind of a monster, it is clear to those of us who know and love him that something went terribly wrong.”

Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston claimed Griego was intensely participating in violent video games and that he became excited when he started discussing the subject with the investigators.

Houston added that the teen, who is being held without bond, has been planning the shootings for a week.

It was reported that Griego will be charged as an adult for murder and child abuse resulting in death, and he waived his right to arraignment in adult court Tuesday.

The teen’s father, Greg Griego, was a pastor who performed prison ministry at the Metropolitan Detention Center and helped to rehabilitate convicts.

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