Knipfings Notes: Will there ever be an answer to Griego Murders?January 26th, 2013 at 10:35 am by Dick Knipfing under Knipfings Notes
It has been a heck of a week. The murders of five members of an Albuquerque family dominated the news.
All the usual adjectives seem trivial.
15-year-old Nehemiah Griego is accused of killing his mother, two sisters and a brother, at their South Valley home. Sheriff’s detectives believe he started the killing it early Saturday, shortly after midnight. The mother and one of the girls apparently were murdered as they slept. Investigators say the brother and the other girl, were awake and crying when they were killed. From what we know so far, Nehemiah waited for his father to come home five hours later and gunned him down after he walked into the house.
Sheriff Dan Houston says the boy texted a picture of his mother’s body to his 12-year-old girlfriend. He later spent most of the day with the girl before the case blew up Saturday night and he was arrested.
The only “good” thing to come of all this is that it wasn’t much worse.
Investigators say Nehemiah told them he sat outside a South Valley Walmart in the family van for about an hour Saturday. He says he had loaded weapons with him and thought about shooting people at random so that police would come and kill him. A lot of people in that Walmart never knew how close they came to dying.
The extended Griego family has issued a statement saying they are concerned that the media was portraying Nehemiah as a monster. It said he is a bright, talented boy who was never in any trouble.
His uncle, former State Senator Eric Griego went on national TV and said much the same thing. He also claimed the 12 year old girlfriend egged Nehemiah on, adding that he’s shocked she has not been charged.
The Sheriff’s Department says she is considered a witness. A spokesman says she has been interviewed, has provided a statement and that at this time there are no pending charges. That seems to leave a door open for further developments.
There are many developments still to come in this case. It seems likely there will be a challenge to Nehemiah’s confession. His uncle said sheriff’s detectives should not have allowed a fifteen year old to waive his right to have a lawyer or an adult present when he was questioned.
That said, there are no indications that anyone else killed Nehmiah’s family. If he is convicted or there is a plea deal, the case will come down to another battle over sentencing. Cody Posey who killed his father, stepmother and stepsister when he was 14 years old in 2004, was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the killings. But after an emotional hearing, his lawyer, Gary Mitchell, convinced the judge to sentence him as a juvenile. That meant he was locked up on until he was 21. Posey was released a little more than two years ago.
Then, and most compelling, is the question of “WHY?”
Will we ever get an answer? Can there ever be an answer that adequately explains a crime like this? Sheriff Houston told reporters Nehemiah indicated he was frustrated with his mother. Every teenager is frustrated with his parents at one time or another. Surely frustration cannot be the motive for five murders. Could it?
The only thing we can be certain of is that there’s a lot more to come on this grim, unsettling story; none of it good.
Written by: Dick Knipfing. Dick is an evening news anchor for KRQE News 13.
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