Teen suspects accused of deadly drive-by shooting plead not guilty

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Four juveniles and a 19-year-old are accused of shooting a 5-year-old in a drive-by shooting several weeks ago.

On Monday, each of them denied any guilt.

Second District Court Judge Emeterio Rudolfo accepted four not guilty pleas Monday from each of the teenage suspects charged with the murder of 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego.

Samaniego was gunned down in her sleep in August. Investigators say it happened after the suspects stole two vehicles and shot up the trailer home where she was spending the night.

19-year-old Sencheray Hernandez is the only adult suspect in the case. She also pleaded not guilty.

All five suspects are charged with first-degree murder and all of them will be held on pretrial detention.

Sencheray Hernandez’s attorney asked Judge Stan Whitaker about her pretrial detention.

“If the court chooses to reconsider it does sound like she has a place to go in Moriarty with her grandparents, and she is a single mother,” said the defense attorney. 

Whitaker decided against making any changes. At least two of the suspects will have a second pretrial detention hearing as their cases moves forward in district court.