Nehemiah Griego, 21, is shown in a recent mugshot. He has been in jail since January 2013 for killing five members of his family but may be released in days
A schizophrenic prisoner who has been in jail since 2013 after shooting his family dead aged 15 could either be released from prison or sentenced for another 120 years pending the outcome of a week-long hearing this week.
Nehemiah Griego, 21, shot and killed his mother Sarah, his nine-year-old brother, Zephania and sisters Jael, five , and Angelina, two, at their home in Albuquerque, New
He then waited for his father Greg to come home and shot and killed him with an AR-15 he had found inside a closet in the family’s home.
Nehemiah told police he had been having suicidal thoughts and that he planned to go on killing and die in a shootout with police.
He was taken into juvenile custody and was diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder but was told he would be released on his 21st birthday on March 20, under the state’s laws.
A judge decided in March not to let him out, however, after attorneys filed a last minute appeal of his juvenile sentencing.
If the judge determines that he has not been rehabilitated during the last five years, he will be sentenced as an adult and faces a maximum of 120 years behind bars.
In January 2013, Griego first shot his mother, Sarah, in her bed as she slept, then he woke up his brother Zephania to show the boy their mother’s body before shooting him as well.
Nehemiah shot his father Greg, his mother, Sarah, his nine-year-old brother, Zephania and sisters Jael, five , and Angelina, two, at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in January 2013
After the shooting, Nehemiah told police he was planning to kill more people and wanted to die in a shootout with officers
Griego then walked into his sisters’ bedroom and fatally shot five-year-old Jael and two-year-old Angelina.
Hours later, his father, Greg, returned home from his shift at a homeless shelter, and the teen — who had been waiting in a bathroom — ambushed him, authorities said.
He later told a deputy that he had anger issues and had been annoyed with his mother before carrying out the shootings, according to sheriff’s documents.
His attorneys have maintained in his defense that he had been abused at home and likely suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of beatings at the hands of his father, who was a gang member-turned-pastor.
The teenager (pictured at the time of the attack) used guns he found inside his parents home at the time
Prosecutors had argued for Griego to be sentenced as an adult and sent to state prison after he pleaded guilty, saying that the crime was premeditated and that he has not expressed remorse for it. Pato again made those two points in her filing Monday.
She also said Griego’s older sisters, Vanessa Lightbourne and Annette Verreault, remained in fear for their safety based on his past acts and statements.
Both told state police that they had been aware of reported threats made by their younger brother, but that neither of them had been threatened directly.
They did not testify at a hearing two years ago where Griego was found to have made progress toward rehabilitation.
Griego told investigators that he had learned to work through his emotions. He had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, but he said he no longer takes medication for either.
He planned to continue therapy after his release, he said.
‘He told me there is nobody out there that is worth his time and that he does not want to start his time over, that it is pointless to start over [in prison],’ wrote State Police Agent Marcus Lopez.