Release up in the air for man who killed family as a teen | KOB 4

Release up in the air for man who killed family as a teen

Jen French
March 12, 2018 10:10 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- In hopes of starting a new life, a court filing suggests Nehemiah Griego wants to change his name once he was released from CYFD custody. Griego, accused of shooting and killing his parents and siblings when he was 15, was originally set to walk free on his 21st birthday.


On Monday, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office requested a stay and to hold Griego without bond.

"To keep the defendant in custody until the appellate procedure is complete," said James Grayson said, a Bernalillo County deputy district attorney.

Judge John Romero postponed his decision and plans to hold a hearing by Friday. It gives Griego's defense attorney more time to file a response.

In 2016, Romero ruled that Griego could be released on March 20, 2018 -- or his 21st birthday. By law, CYFD can't keep people in custody past the age of 21. The New Mexico Court of Appeals overturned Romero's decision Friday.

In Monday's hearing, Griego looked down and didn't show much emotion. Prosecutors who think he is a danger to society want him in custody, but his defense attorney thinks he should walk free.

Whatever happens, Griego can't stay in Children Youth and Families Department custody past his 21st birthday.

"It means he remains in our custody at this moment. He cannot stay in our custody past the age of 21. That's per law," CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson said. "That's not a decision we have the ability to make. No one can stay in CYFD custody past the age of 21."

His surviving sister, Vanessa Lightbourne, doesn’t want to see him free.

"I think just the some of things he told me when I would visit him in jail," Lightbourne said. "The reason I stopped talking to him was because he said things that were not right. That leads me to believe he does not have a change in heart."


Jen French

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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