A New Mexico court is deciding whether a man who was 15 when fatally shot his parents, brother, and two sisters will walk free nearly six years after the grisly quintuple slaying.
Per the Albuquerque Journal, Children’s Court Judge John Romero is tasked with determining if convicted murderer Nehemiah Griego, now 21, is rehabilitated and can be reintroduced into society. In January 2013, Griego fatally shot his mother, Sarah, as she slept and killed his three siblings—ages 2, 5, and 9—before murdering his father, Greg, after he returned home from work four hours later.
People reported that Griego forced his 9-year-old brother to look at their slain mother’s bloody face before fatally shooting him.
The teen reloaded his weapons and took the family van amid a plot to claim more victims. Instead, he went to the church where his father was a pastor and confessed to killing his family, a court clerk told the magazine.
At one point, prosecutors said Griego texted his 12-year-old girlfriend and revealed he killed his family. He then instructed his girlfriend to do the same so they could be together, according to KRQE.
Since the juvenile detention system can’t confine inmates past their 21st birthday, Griego could be freed or face 120 years as an adult. Three years earlier, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and child abuse charges.
Romero initially charged Griego but his sentence was overturned because his ruling didn’t consider evidence which indicated that Griego wouldn’t respond to treatment. Moreover, prosecutors successfully appealed on the basis that Griego was sentenced as a minor.
Now, the sentencing judge must consider the nature of the crime in addition to other factors, according to the Journal. Information regarding Griego’s treatment in addition to his medical and mental health are being withheld from the public.
[Featured Image: Nehemiah Griego/KRQE]