ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Relatives of a New Mexico teen facing charges in the slayings of his parents and three younger siblings said Tuesday they are refusing to give up on the boy and are vowing to support him as his case moves through the justice system.
Nehemiah Griego’s family members told The Associated Press in an interview that they are heartbroken over the tragedy and that there were never any signs that something like this would happen.
They described the 15-year-old as a normal teenager who was close to his family, loved wrestling with his father and brother, played in the church youth band and was known for his guitar solos.
“Nehemiah is a loving kid. He loved his family and he made a really terrible mistake and we don’t know why he did it,” said his older sister, Annette Griego. “We don’t know whether he had a mental breakdown. We just don’t know. We don’t have answers.”
Nehemiah Griego has been in custody since Jan. 19, when authorities say he shot his parents and siblings in their home in a rural area south of Albuquerque.
His parents, Greg and Sarah Griego, were well-known throughout the community for more than a decade of ministry work with inmates at the county jail. Greg Griego, an Army veteran, also served as a pastor at one of Albuquerque’s largest Christian churches and was a volunteer chaplain with the local fire department.
Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston has said the teen told detectives he was angry with his mother and had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts.
Family members have been critical of how the investigation has been handled and are pushing for a psychiatric evaluation for the teen in hopes of finding out what led to the violence.
Griego has been classified as a serious youthful offender and is facing charges as an adult. His relatives said they forgive him and prefer that he be tried as a juvenile.
“For us, justice is what the victims of this crime would want and what they would have wanted is for us to do everything we can to make sure that Nehemiah is given the fairest chance to turn his life around, that he not be cast away to an adult prison system where he can never have an opportunity for redemption,” said Eric Griego, the boy’s uncle.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them