Jury selection underway for suspects accused of murdering 2 Albuquerque teens
BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. – Jury selection started Monday in the trial of three suspects accused in the brutal murder of two Albuquerque teens.
Collin Romero and Ahmed Lateef disappeared in December 2018. After days of searching, the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office found their bodies buried in a shallow grave on the mesa west of Rio Rancho.
Investigators say they had been tortured, beaten and shot several times before they were killed.
“The severity of the murders, you can’t get over something like that, you’re not going to find closure over something like that because animals do that to each other – humans aren’t supposed to do that,” said Amanda Kimbrell, Collin Romero’s mother in 2019.
The torture of the teens was captured on video. Four men and a teen boy were arrested and charged.
Stephen Goldman Jr., Jimmie Atkins, and Julio Almentero were charged with murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, and tampering with evidence. Almentero was just 15 at the time of the killings.
Stephen Goldman Sr. was charged with tampering with evidence — for destroying the car used to transport the bodies.
Judge Hart: “In Bernalillo County, did you change or hide or place a motor vehicle with the intent to prevent the apprehensive, prosecution, or conviction of yourself, or create the false impression that another person had committed the crime of murder?
Goldman Sr.: “Yes, ma’am.”
Goldman Sr. pleaded guilty in 2021. He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
Anthony Aragon was charged with tampering with evidence for helping bury the bodies. He also pleaded guilty in 2021 and got a six-year sentence.
Goldman Jr., Atkins, and Almentero now head to trial. Testimony is expected to begin this week.