A 19-year-old facing charges in two non-fatal shootings has also been named as a suspect in the deaths of two teenagers who went missing last year.
While Stephen Goldman hasn’t been charged, a conversation between a district court judge and a prosecutor from the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office made it clear Wednesday that Goldman is a suspect in the case of the missing teens.
15-year-old Collin Romero and 14-year-old Ahmed Lateef were last seen December 16, 2018. The teens’ bodies were discovered two weeks later on Saturday, December 29, in a shallow grave outside of Rio Rancho.
Authorities have since only formally named one suspect in the case, 36-year old Anthony Loy Aragon, who’s charged with evidence tampering.
Goldman has never been named as a suspect, until Wednesday.
Goldman was in front of a judge Wednesday on a pre-trial detention hearing. He is charged in two separate non-fatal shoot cases, both are alleged to have occurred in November 2018.
During the pre-trial detention hearing, Judge Charles Brown revealed Goldman’s suspected involvement in the deaths of Romero and Lateef.
“I mean, the bottom line is they think he killed two other people with the same weapon that they found casings from, is that right?“ Judge Charles Brown asked for a Bernalillo County prosecutor.
“That… that is correct, Your Honor, but not complete,“ said the prosecutor.
Albuquerque Police say the teens’ deaths are still under investigation. The department would not confirm Wednesday that Goldman is a suspect in the case, instead directing questions about Goldman to the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
During Goldman’s Wednesday hearing, the prosecutor continued to explain Goldman’s suspected involvement.
“There’s a lot of other details in terms of the autopsy of the two individuals that were killed,“ said the prosecutor.
“Is there some question that… they’re dead? Or that they died from gunshot wounds?“ asked Judge Charles Brown.
“Absolutely not, Your Honor, but it shows evidence of torture,“ said the prosecutor.
The judge did not make a decision in the case Wednesday, instead deferring the hearing until Friday, when the judge will be able to hear from the detective on Goldman’s two non-fatal shooting cases.
Some are glad to see Goldman behind bars, but question what took so long.
Dennis Fluitt says he son was victimized by Goldman. Fluitt’s son was robbed and shot at in the early morning hours of November 3, 2018, at a house party near Wyoming and I-40.
“My son’s looking right up at him with a gun in his mouth, he … he didn’t forget what he looked like,“ said Fluitt.
Fluitt says he son ran as someone shot at them. Police believe the shooter is Goldman.
“If it wasn’t for my son and his step-brother’s instinctual fight or flight, they would have died that night,” said Fluitt.
However, since the night of the shooting, the case seemingly went dormant. Fluitt believes the house party shooting case wasn’t initially taken seriously by a detective.
“When I contacted the detective on that following Monday morning, his attitude was basically, my son shouldn’t have been at a party, so he was blaming my son for what had happened and I knew at that point they weren’t going to follow through,” said Fluitt.
A criminal complaint describes no discernable progress in investigating the shooting between the date it occurred, November 3, 2018, and February 23, 2019.
On February 23, 2019, Goldman was already in custody on another shooting case said to have occurred on San Mateo near Ponderosa Street, on November 22, 2018.
According to the criminal complaint tied to the house party shooting, on February 23, 2019, a detective “became aware” of the incident and “believe that it could have been involving an individual” known as Stephen Goldman.
As of Wednesday night, Goldman remained behind bars. A judge should decide Friday if he’ll be released or will remain in custody.
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