Former GOP candidate to remain behind bars as he awaits trial in shootings at New Mexico lawmakers homes
January 23, 2023 at 19:31
CNN —The failed Republican New Mexico state House candidate who is accused of masterminding shootings at Democratic officials’ homes will remain in jail as he awaits trial, a judge ruled Monday.
Second Judicial District Court Judge David Murphy said Solomon Peña poses a threat to the targets of the shootings and their family members.
Prosecutor Natalie Lyon said Peña led a team that fired shots into the homes of elected officials.
An investigator said Peña provided the guns used in the shootings, suggested the use of stolen cars to avoid being identified and was present at the fourth and final shooting.
He is helping other individuals come up with a plan,” including using stolen vehicles, Lyon said.
The detention hearing came a week after Peña, who lost a 2022 election for House District 14, was arrested by a police SWAT team.
No one was injured in the shootings, although a bullet flew through a child’s bedroom while the child was inside.
Peña and I look forward to a full and fair investigation of these claims,” Yurcic said in a statement.
Peña lost his race to Democratic state Rep. Miguel Garcia 26% to 74% on November 8, 2022.
“There is probable cause to believe that soon after this unsuccessful campaign, he (Peña) conspired with Demetrio, José, and two brothers, to commit these four shootings at elected local and state government officials’ homes,” Albuquerque police wrote in the affidavit.
“Solomon provided firearms and cash payments and personally participated in at least one shooting.”Albuquerque police said they were investigating whether Peña’s campaign was funded in part by cash from narcotics sales that were laundered into campaign contributions.
He was stopped driving Peña’s car, said a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.