Updated: December 01, 2020 06:59 PM
Created: December 01, 2020 06:30 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Less than 24-hours after the State Supreme Court said Elexus Groves could be charged with murder, her attorney argued for her release.
Groves and Paul Garcia are accused of killing a woman and her 14-year-old daughter while fleeing from law enforcement in a stolen van. The two have been in jail since 2017.
On Tuesday, the defense asked for Groves to be released because she’s been sober for the four years she’s been behind bars, but a judge said that wasn’t good enough.
Groves’ murder charges were previously dropped by a district court judge, but the State Supreme Court recent ruled that, “aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer may serve as a predicate felony for felony murder in certain circumstances.”
"We felt it was necessary to bring some clarity on the felony murder rule in New Mexico,” said District Attorney Raul Torrez.
Torrez said they still have to prove that Groves and Garcia knew fleeing law enforcement at high speeds could end up hurting someone before the murder charged get reinstated.
"I think it's pretty clear, given the speeds that were involved. I think the forensic evidence showed these two individuals were going 70 miles per hour right before the accident,” he said.
Torrez said he hopes to bring justice for the killing of Shaunna Arrendondo-Boling and her 14-year-old daughter Shaylee.
"We lost two extraordinary people in this senseless act, and it's very hard for families to wait and see how the appellate process is going to unfold,” he said.
Both Groves and Garcia could face life behind bars if convicted of first degree murder.
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