Opening statements in the trial of Elexus Groves begins Thursday

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Opening statements in the trial of Elexus Groves begins Thursday.

The trial began Tuesday with jury selection. Groves was the suspected driver during a deadly crash in 2017. Groves is accused of fleeing law enforcement and killing Shaunna Arrendondo Boling and her 14-year-old daughter Shaylee Boling.

Groves’s charges include two counts of first-degree murder, one count of third-degree knowingly leaving the scene of an accident, one count of aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer and two counts of fourth-degree unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

Groves’s suspected passenger, Paul Garcia, pleaded guilty to four charges July 20. Garcia will serve up to ten years in prison with four years probation and will testify against Groves. His sentencing will be announced after Groves’ trial is over.

After the couple was charged with first-degree murder, the husband and stepfather of the victims, David Arredondo, reached a settlement with the company that owned the van in 2017.

The charges were downgraded to second-degree murder after a judge sided with an argument by Groves’ attorney in April 2018. The District Attorney’s Office issued an appeal with the New Mexico Supreme Court.

The court ruled in December 2020 that defendants who cause deadly crashes while fleeing police can face felony murder charges under certain circumstances. After the ruling, the DA successfully reinstated first-degree murder charges.

During the couple’s hearing in March, an APD sergeant testified with his account.