Griego family responds to grand jury indictment

Posted at: 02/04/2013 4:29 PM
Updated at: 02/04/2013 10:06 PM
By: Steve Mieczkowski, KOB.com

The family of Nehemiah Griego has issued a statement following Monday's indictment of Griego in the murder of five family members.

The statement reads as follows:

"Greg and Sarah Griego dedicated their lives to reaching out to people who were considered by some to be unredeemable.  Our entire family is united in our belief that justice for our family and for Greg and his family will not be served by trying Nehemiah as an adult or locking him up in an adult prison.

We feel strongly that Greg and his family would have wanted Nehemiah to take responsibility for his acts as a child within the juvenile system.  Pursuing adult sanctions against Nehemiah is unjust and contrary to the victims’ wishes.

Nehemiah had no criminal record, no record of violence against others, and no previous threats of violence against others.  He is only 15 years old and solid science on brain development demonstrates that as a juvenile he did not possess an adult capacity for decision making or consequences.

Moreover, the irresponsible way in which his confession was taken, with no adult in the room, no lawyer and no opportunity to speak to adult family members, has deeply damaged his right to a fair and impartial trial.   The confession was promptly released to the media and has made him the subject of a public trial and conviction in the media before he has had a chance to even be evaluated by psychiatric professionals for his state of mind or ability to be tried at all.

We don’t know yet what may have caused Nehemiah’s brain to malfunction the way it did. Our family continues to mourn this incredible loss of our loved ones.  We believe, however, that with proper mental health evaluation, intensive treatment and ongoing support, Nehemiah can be rehabilitated and eventually rejoin society and our family."

Note: The statement was originally attributed to state senator Eric Griego. Senator Griego has informed KOB Eyewitness News 4 that he released the statement on behalf of the Griego family.