Students accused of bringing guns to Albuquerque high schools to remain behind bars
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s been one week since an Albuquerque student died from gun violence. Last Friday, 16-year-old Elijah Pohl-Morfin was killed in what the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is calling an accident.
Just a few days later, two students at two separate schools in Albuquerque allegedly brought loaded guns to their campuses on the same day. New Mexico attorneys made that connection in court Friday as a judge decided whether or not those students should stay in jail.
Judge Catherine Begaye ultimately decided to keep the 17-year-old and 15-year-old boys in juvenile detention until their separate trials. Judge Begaye determined they both were a danger to themselves and others.
“We believe that this charge demonstrates he is a risk to himself and the community,” said Michael Scott with juvenile probation.
“We are seeing far too many of these. the child was eventually found in a vehicle with several others with this firearm, which was loaded… and the reason they found this child is because he had pulled that gun during a fight and, and told the student not to move, or he’d shoot her,” Bernalillo County Senior Trial Attorney Bridget McKenney said.
McKenney is referring to the 15-year-old who allegedly brought a loaded gun to Cibola High School.
In court, his mother spoke up saying a detective told her a different child made the threat, not her son. But she did say her son was found with the gun.
Judge Begaye ultimately decided to detain the 15-year-old, saying he poses a substantial risk of harm to himself and others.
In the other case, a 17-year-old is accused of bringing a loaded gun to Gilbert Sena Charter School.
“According to the probable cause statement, he was very aware that he had a loaded firearm and that that instrument was highly dangerous, to the point where he cautioned someone apparently, to be careful not to hurt themselves, McKenney said.
During the hearing, McKenney made a connection to the recent fatal shooting at Atrisco High School.
“I’m sure the court is aware, being a part of the community that we just lost a student just over a week ago to a firearm incident at a school where they were simply playing with a gun, Mckenney said.
The boy’s attorney Todd Olmos fired back.
“Is she saying that my client is going to be charged with accidentally shooting somebody? She brings up a lot of things that it must have been could have been I’m not minimizing the danger the scope but the fact that you’re trying to tie certain incidents to my client here,” said Olmos.
Judge Begaye ultimately decided to keep that student detained as well.
Olmos represents both students in these separate cases.