Teen suspect in murder of 2 brothers pleads not guilty

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – One of the teenagers charged with killing two teen brothers in Albuquerque pleaded not guilty Tuesday. 

17-year-old Mario Lange went before a judge for both his arraignment and a pretrial detention hearing. KOB 4 is not showing him because he’s a minor.

The murder isn’t the only case Lange is facing charges for, so his lawyer is not putting up a fight for him to get out of jail before trial.

“I may move for–to reconsider, but at this point we are not going, we are not going to contest a detention at this point because as I stated he is doing a long-term commitment,” said Defense Attorney Ramon Martinez. 

The victim’s in this case were 14-year-old Gabriel Lopez, and his brother 15-year-old Matthew Lopez. They were shot and killed in late January at a mobile home park off Atrisco Vista just south of Central. 

Police say the suspects – all 17 at the time – believed the victims had stolen a gun from a suspect’s family member, and they set up a fake drug buy to get revenge. 

In addition to Lange, Marissa Lopez and Querida Lovato were also arrested and charged. 

Through Instagram messages, deputies said Lopez and Lange discussed details of the killings, and even discussed robbing the victims’ family of money from a GoFundMe page, and shooting up the family’s candlelight vigil. 

Lopez was supposed to have a pretrial detention hearing Tuesday, but it was pushed back to next week. 

Lovato is out of jail on conditions that include a curfew, maintaining school, and staying off social media. 

Police believe there is a fourth suspect out there, but they haven’t been identified at this point.