Woman accused in deadly stolen van crash wants murder charges dropped

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The lawyers for the woman accused of stealing an electrician’s van and then killing a mother and daughter in a crash want her murder charges dropped. Their argument is that the charges don’t fit the crime.

The tragic crash happened on January 18, 2017, when Shaunna Arredondo and her 14-year-old daughter Shaylee Boling, were killed at Chelwood Park and Copper. Police said Elexus Groves tried to outrun them in a stolen van when she sped through a stop sign and crashed into the family’s car.

Groves and her passenger Paul Garcia then bolted from the scene on foot.  Both were finally caught and charged with two counts of first degree murder, because the deaths occurred during the commission of a felony — aggravated fleeing from law enforcement.

However, Groves’ attorney filed a motion on Tuesday to have the first degree murder charges dropped.

They cite a state supreme court ruling that limits first degree murder charges stemming from deaths that occur during the commission of a felony crime, unless it can be proven there was an intent to kill. Or that the crime created a “strong probability of death.”

When Groves was arrested, she told police, “He told me, don’t stop, and then when that car got in the way he told me, ‘Don’t f****** stop.'”

The usual charge for driving recklessly and killing someone unintentionally is vehicular homicide — a charge Groves was also indicted on as an alternative to murder.

Vehicular homicide carries a maximum six years per victim. Of course, Groves also faces charges for injuring a boy in that crash, the chase, and for stealing the van. The state has not yet filed a motion in response to Groves’ attorney, and a hearing date has not yet been set.

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