Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Teen in New Mexico slayings tells of homicidal thoughts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico teenager accused of fatally shooting his parents and three younger siblings told authorities he was annoyed with his mother and had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts, according to a probable cause statement.

Nehemiah Griego, 15, remained in custody Monday on charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death. He was arrested following the shootings around midnight Friday at a home in a rural area southwest of Albuquerque, where he lived with his family.

A Bernalillo County sheriff's detective questioned the teen Saturday night and the details of their conversation were spelled out in the statement.

It said the teen told the detective that he took a .22-caliber rifle from his parents' closet and shot his mother in the head while his younger brother slept next to her.

Griego told the detective that his brother did not believe him that their mother was dead, so he showed his mother's bloody face to his brother and then shot him, according to the statement.

He's accused of then shooting his two young sisters in their room. He retrieved an AR-15 rifle from his parents' closet and waited in a downstairs bathroom for his father to come home. The statement said he shot his father multiple times after he passed the bathroom doorway.

Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Aaron Williamson said he couldn't comment on the document.

The Sheriff's Office identified the victims as Greg Griego, 51; his wife, Sarah Griego, 40; and three of their children: a 9-year-old boy, Zephania Griego, and daughters Jael Griego, 5, and Angelina Griego, 2.

Greg Griego was a pastor who had once served at Calvary, one of Albuquerque's largest Christian churches. He was also well-known throughout the law enforcement community for his work as a voluntary chaplain.

A records check by the Children, Youth and Families Department indicated no trouble with the Griego family and that Nehemiah Griego had never been in trouble with the law.

Neighbor Terry Wootan described Griego as a man with a big heart. Wootan said Griego told him about his time in California when he was involved in gangs and how he turned his life around and found God.

"What he wanted to do was help people, and he would never quit," Wootan said.

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