Teen killer facing life in prison to be sentenced Tuesday


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Nehemiah Griego murdered five of his family members when he was just 15 years old. Tuesday, he will be sentenced as an adult. Now 22, the state says he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.

It was 2013 when Griego ambushed both his parents and three little siblings inside their South Valley home. No one survived, and investigators later learned Griego took out his family because he was mad at his mother.

Initially sentenced as a juvenile, Griego was supposed to be released when he turned 21, but prosecutors pushed for him to be re-sentenced as an adult.

“I personally would like him to stay behind bars. I think he is a danger to society. I think he is a danger to our family,” Griego’s sister, Vanessa Lightbourne, said last year.

Lightbourne has made it clear she does not want her brother out of jail, fearful of statements he’s made while in custody. Now, prosecutors are asking Judge Alisa Hart to send Nehemiah away for three consecutive life sentences.

“He was active at his church, very active in youth ministry, he was a very good athlete, wrestler,” his uncle, Eric Griego, said just after the murders.

Eric Griego is one of only a few family members that will speak for Nehemiah on the defense’s witness list. At Tuesday’s sentencing, Nehemiah’s three surviving sisters will share how the murders changed their lives, and the fear they have of their brother.

In the state’s sentencing memo, prosecutors say what Griego did, involved “an extreme level of calculation.” They go on to say he’s not a “normal juvenile,” his crimes were intentional, and that Griego has failed to express true remorse for his actions.

Prosecutors go on to say the only remorse he feels is from how his crimes impacted his own life. Griego’s sentencing is scheduled to start Tuesday morning and last the entire day.

The state is asking for 15 years for each of his parents’ murders and the three life sentences for the deaths of his three siblings.

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