ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Prosecutors in the case against Jeremiah Morfin, who is accused of murdering his nine-year-old cousin, are working to tack on new charges. On Monday, November 30, a preliminary hearing was held over Google Meet to discuss the prosecution team’s amendment to the previous charges.
The amendment included criminal sexual penetration of a minor, attempted criminal sexual penetration of a minor, and criminal sexual contact. They say in January of 2019, Jeremiah Morfin, who was 15 at the time, beat his cousin to death and sexually assaulted her but previously he was never charged with rape.
The prosecution spent all day trying to convince a judge there’s enough probable cause for these charges but the defense argued the evidence doesn’t back it up. Jose Herrera, Jeremiah’s mother’s ex-boyfriend, was one of five people who testified on Monday. He testified that the nine-year-old girl had come over for a sleepover and disappeared in the middle of the night.
Police say when they got there, Morfin led them to her body in a nearby arroyo. She was found unclothed from the waist down and wrapped in a blanket.
Prosecutors say when Morfin was first charged, they were awaiting DNA test results. Now, they say Morfin’s DNA was found on her body, and they are ready to charge him with sexual assault.
The defense argued, however, that while Morfin’s DNA was found on the girl’s body, really any contact would leave behind DNA. The judge will meet with both sides again next month.
- Albuquerque teen accused of murdering his cousin, leaving her in arroyo
- State fighting to keep teen accused of murder locked up
- 15-year-old accused of murdering cousin to remain in jail