State law could lessen Griego's sentence if convicted

Posted at: 01/22/2013 10:34 PM
By: Maria Guererro, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Nehemiah Griego’s 12-year-old girlfriend could possibly face charges if she found out about the Griego murders and didn’t report them.

For now, the case against Griego is already following the patterns of a high profile case.

He’s being charged as an adult, but 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego didn’t have to go before a Metro Court judge as expected Tuesday afternoon. Griego’s public defender got his arraignment waived.

"Typically they do it when defendants are out of town or when there may be a lot of commotion and a lot of people and a lot of publicity that the defendant is trying to avoid," explained Bernalillo County District Attorney, Kari Brandenburg.

Griego is charged with five counts of 1st degree murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death. Each count carries a mandatory 30 year sentence for an adult.

But the D.A. points to a state statute that says if a 15, 16 or 17 year old is convicted of 1st degree murder, the judge could lower the sentence because of their age. Brandenburg doesn’t predict the sentence would be reduced significantly.

“The fact that five people lost their lives, very small children that certainly wouldn't result in a light or minor sentence," said Brandenburg.

Nehemiah Griego is being held at the juvenile detention center without bond.

The case will go to a grand jury within the next 10 days. Griego will then be arraigned.