Solomon Peña to remain behind bars as he awaits trial in shootings at New Mexico lawmakers homes

CNN
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The failed Republican New Mexico state Home candidate who’s accused of masterminding shootings at Democratic officers’ properties will stay in jail as he awaits trial, a decide dominated Monday.

Second Judicial District Court docket Decide David Murphy stated Solomon Peña poses a risk to the targets of the shootings and their relations. He additionally pointed to Peña’s historical past of felony convictions involving property crimes and using stolen autos, mirroring the techniques police say had been used within the shootings in December and early January.

Prosecutor Natalie Lyon stated Peña led a staff that fired photographs into the properties of elected officers. An investigator stated Peña supplied the weapons used within the shootings, urged using stolen automobiles to keep away from being recognized and was current on the fourth and remaining capturing.

Albuquerque Police Detective Conrad Griego, citing a confidential witness, stated Peña had complained that at the very least one of many shootings occurred too late at evening, with bullets fired too excessive into the home – lowering the possibilities of hitting the goal.

“He’s offering the firearms. He’s serving to different people give you a plan,” together with utilizing stolen autos, Lyon stated.

Pena’s legal professional, Roberta Yurcic, argued that Peña was by no means discovered to be in possession of a firearm, and sought to solid doubt on the credibility of the confidential witness.

The detention listening to got here every week after Peña, who misplaced a 2022 election for Home District 14, was arrested by a police SWAT staff. Authorities say he employed and conspired with 4 males to shoot on the properties of two state legislators and two county commissioners because the election – in what Albuquerque’s mayor described as politically motivated assaults.

Nobody was injured within the shootings, though a bullet flew via a baby’s bed room whereas the kid was inside.

Peña faces preliminary fees of felon in possession of a firearm; tried aggravated battery with a lethal weapon; felony solicitation; and 4 counts every of capturing at an occupied dwelling, capturing at or from a motorcar, and conspiracy, in keeping with a warrant.

He has been held with out bail since he was taken into custody.

“Mr. Peña and I look ahead to a full and honest investigation of those claims,” Yurcic stated in an announcement. “I plan to completely defend Mr. Peña and fiercely safeguard his rights all through this course of.”

False and unfounded claims about election fraud have exploded nationwide lately and fueled anger and threats of violence towards elected officers – even in native politics.

Peña misplaced his race to Democratic state Rep. Miguel Garcia 26% to 74% on November 8, 2022. Every week later, he tweeted he “by no means conceded” the race and was researching his choices.

Based on Albuquerque police, Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa’s house was shot at a number of instances on December 4, incoming state Home Speaker Javier Martinez’s house was shot at on December 8, former Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley’s house was shot at on December 11 and state Sen. Linda Lopez’s house was shot at on January 3.

Peña’s arrest warrant affidavit identifies two of the alleged co-conspirators as Demetrio Trujillo and José Trujillo. Based on a relative, Demetrio is José’s father.

“There may be possible trigger to consider that quickly after this unsuccessful marketing campaign, he (Peña) conspired with Demetrio, José, and two brothers, to commit these 4 shootings at elected native and state authorities officers’ properties,” Albuquerque police wrote within the affidavit. “Solomon supplied firearms and money funds and personally participated in at the very least one capturing.”

Albuquerque police stated they had been investigating whether or not Peña’s marketing campaign was funded partially by money from narcotics gross sales that had been laundered into marketing campaign contributions.

Police say José Trujillo, who donated $5,155 to Peña’s failed marketing campaign and listed his occupation as “cashier,” was arrested on January 3 – the evening of the final of 4 shootings – on an excellent felony warrant.

A Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy discovered him with greater than $3,000 in money, almost 900 narcotics tablets price roughly $15,000 and two weapons, one among which was ballistically matched to that day’s capturing, police stated. He was stopped driving Peña’s automobile, stated a legislation enforcement official who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of the investigation is ongoing.

Makes an attempt to achieve attorneys for the Trujillos weren’t profitable.

Peña beforehand served nearly seven years in jail after a 2008 conviction for stealing a big quantity of products in a “smash and seize scheme,” CNN affiliate KOAT reported.