Teen murder suspect to remain in custody

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two teens charged in a robbery turned murder will stay locked up pending trial.

15-year-old Micalas McClendon faced a judge Wednesday, following his arrest last week. The judge ruled to keep him in custody until trial.

Prosecutors argued the nature of the murder itself was too significant to ignore.

Police arrested McClendon and another teen, 14-year-old Lorenzo Lovato, last week. According to investigators, the teens set up a drug deal with Alana Gamboa, with the intention to rob her instead.

Gamboa was reportedly shot and killed while sitting in the driver’s seat of her car. Court documents say McClendon pulled the trigger.

“This is disturbing for a number of reasons,” said Stephen Lane, prosecutor. “One is that this escalated from a robbery to a homicide very, very quickly, sort of at the drop of a hat. The other is that Mr. McClendon arrived at that scene with a gun in his possession.”

McClendon’s defense attorney argued that his client has no criminal history.

However, Judge Courtney Weaks listed a number of reasons why she decided to hold McClendon in custody. She pointed to the violent nature of the case, and the concern something else might happen if he was released.

The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office says McClendom will be tried as a serious youthful offender.

His co-defendant, Lovato, was on supervised probation at the time of the murder, for a series of armed robberies. He is also staying locked up, pending trial.