Questa teen accused of killing 13-year-old girl will not be held until trial

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QUESTA, N.M. — A judge covered a lot of ground during the preliminary hearing for 14-year-old Porfirio Brown. He’s the teen accused of shooting and killing 13-year-old Amber Archuleta in July after getting a hold of his father’s gun.

Porfirio’s father, William Brown, had a court hearing earlier this week and has been ordered to have no contact with his son. On Friday, the court wrapped up witness testimony and the judge decided if they have enough evidence to move forward.

The court picked up right where they left off Wednesday with the state agent on the case. The defense questioned him about how thoroughly they investigated the scene in the hours after the shooting.

Before answering questions, the defense had agent Shane Faulkner review one of the interviews he conducted on the day of the fatal shooting. They also had him compare two bootprints from the scene – one was Porfirio’s and the other was his friend who was also there. He said they were very similar.

The defense was trying to prove that there was not enough evidence pointing solely to Porfirio.

“Two days ago, I came before you and I told you I was horrified with this investigation and that still stands true today and I hope that the court shares some of those feelings of being horrified by this investigation. There were suspects that left the residents, there were massive dumpsters that people were standing by that were not searched, there were phones that have not been confiscated that were said to be confiscated in a search warrant that we just heard about,” said Elizabeth Bunker, the lawyer defending Brown.

The prosecutor, on the other hand, said the facts are that Archuleta was shot. There were three people inside the room she was in, and two witnesses said that Porfirio had the gun.

The prosecutor also said, even if there was no evidence that Porfirio intended to kill Archuleta, there was probable cause for involuntary manslaughter and criminal negligence.

“I think there is ample evidence to support certainly a charge of second-degree murder because it was a deliberate act where the person who performed the act knew, or should have known, of the deadly consequences of his actions,” said Timothy Hassen on behalf of the State.

Ultimately Judge Jeff Shannon said the court found no probable cause for first-degree murder, but the was probable cause for second-degree murder. They moved forward with a pretrial detention hearing for Porfirio and released him into the custody of his grandparents on house arrest.

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