ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A verdict has been returned in the Elexus Groves trial. Thursday, the jury has found Groves not guilty of first-degree murder ruling out a life sentence. Groves admitted to killing a mother and daughter while fleeing in a stolen van in 2017. However, the jury did find her guilty on other serious charges.
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The prosecution was confident they’d convict Groves for first-degree murder by depraved mind because her reckless actions showed no regard for human life but in less than a day, the jury decided Groves is not a murderer.
“We find the defendant not guilty of first-degree murder by an act greatly dangerous to the lives of others indicating a depraved mind without regard for human life,” the jury said Thursday.
In 2017, Groves and her then-boyfriend Paul Garcia stole an electrician’s van and bolted. Groves was driving and blew through a stop sign at close to 80 mph while running from police. She hit Shauna Arredondo-Boling and her 14-year-old daughter Shaylee, killing them both and injuring Arredondo-Boling’s young son.
Both Garcia and Groves pointed the finger at the other for the tragedy that happened that January day. Blaming the other for wanting to steal the van and doing drugs. Groves testified on her own behalf saying a “part of her died that day” too. In the end, the jury decided on lesser charges.
Groves was also found guilty of great bodily harm for hurting the young boy along with car theft and fleeing from police. Groves faces a maximum sentence of a little more than 20 years now. Sentence scheduling is set for late October.
Garcia took a plea deal. It calls for six years in prison instead of 10 years.