ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two teens accused of murdering an innocent woman at an Albuquerque gas station will stay behind bars until trial. 16-year-old Ty Gallegos and 15-year-old Estevan Lucero are charged with murdering Kayla Montaño at the Maverik gas station on I-25 and Comanche in late March. Police say it’s a case of mistaken identity. The state said both teens are too dangerous to be on the streets.
An innocent individual lost their life because these individuals, these young boys decided to arm themselves with firearms and shoot into not only a crowded gas station but into this vehicle that had multiple people in it to include a minor child,” says Mia Rubin, attorney for the state in this case.
Gallegos and Lucero are two of five people accused in the murder. Police say the teens mistakenly thought Montaño was someone who had tried to rob their friends earlier. Tuesday, prosecutors said Lucero fled after the shooting, lied to police about where he was during the incident, and was seen on surveillance video at the gas station with a gun.
The defense argued there is no evidence he actually shot at the victim’s car and no evidence he left the state. They pointed out Lucero’s lack of criminal history.
“I think a strong fact is that he did turn himself in. It does not appear there’s evidence that he went out of state as one of the codefendants did.”
That co-defendant, Ty Gallegos, is accused of fleeing with another suspect to Arizona after the murder, then texting his brother about possibly killing that other suspect. Prosecutors say he was also communicating with his mother who they say was encouraging him to run, which demonstrates he doesn’t have a stable parent to be released to.
His defense also cited Gallegos’ lack of criminal history and his strong ties to Albuquerque. Another major influence on the judge’s decision to hold them was an independent witness who says Lucero and Gallegos have been involved in other drive-by shootings and violent crimes.