Teens could be tried as adults in homeless deaths

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jul 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-22 15:34:00-04

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A prosecutor says she expects three teens accused in the brutal slayings of two homeless men in New Mexico to be tried together as adults.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said Tuesday the 15- and 16-year-old suspects have been charged as serious youthful offenders.

She says that means if they are later indicted on first-degree murder charges, she anticipates they will be tried alongside the 18-year-old suspect in adult court.

However, because the two are minors, a judge will have more leeway in sentencing if they are convicted.

First-degree murder convictions carry a mandatory life sentence for adults.

Eighteen-year-old Alex Rios and the two younger suspects are accused of attacking three homeless men as they slept. A lawyer for Rios has declined comment.

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