ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Friday afternoon, an Albuquerque judge released her decision. Nehemiah Griego will get life for murdering his parents and three younger siblings when he was just 15 years old.

This case is unlike any other because Griego was sentenced as a minor and had already done his time as a juvenile.

Griego’s sentencing hearing took place more than two weeks ago, but the judge said she needed more time to make her decision. Friday in her sentencing memo, she said Griego needs to be punished for what he’s done, and society needs to be protected from him.

Griego’s family was at that sentencing on Oct. 15. Some of them wanted him kept in jail, and others wanted him released. Griego methodically shot and killed his parents and three younger siblings inside their South Valley home in 2013.

Friday, Judge Alisa Hart handed down a sentence of seven years for the murders of his parents, and three life sentences with the possibility of parole for the murders of his brothers and sisters.

Judge hart wrote in her memo what is needed to balance both, what is best for the community, and what is best for the defendant does not currently exist as a resource for the court.

At the sentencing, Griego’s attorney asked the judge to help Griego get the treatment he needed, rather than putting him behind prison walls.

“We have to come up with creative solutions and that’s what I’m asking this court to do, is come up with a solution…a solution that will give Nehemiah the treatment he needs moving forward,” attorney Stephen Taylor said.

Judge Hart went on to say if she were only to consider Griego’s crimes and nothing else, she would have handed down a sentence of life without parole. But, she says she had to consider Griego’s home life with his parents and the progress he’s made in treatment.

Griego has already served almost seven years, and because his life sentences will run at the same time, he could have a chance at parole in 30 years.

The judge also cited the calculated nature of the murders in sentencing Griego to life. Griego will be 52 when he’s eligible for parole.

Friday evening, Nehemiah Griego’s attorney issued the following statement:

The judge here is saying that she was would have been willing to give Nehemiah probation in a locked treatment facility, but that treatment doesn’t exist in New Mexico.  That forced her to place Nehemiah ‘with the most serious violent offenders’ in a prison system where he won’t receive the trauma-informed treatment that has proven to work for young offenders. And you’ll notice she called the choice to send him to prison ‘distressing’.

Stephen Taylor, attorney for Nehemiah Griego

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