ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – One of the suspects in the death of a mother and daughter in Albuquerque has pleaded guilty to multiple counts in the crash that killed them. Paul Garcia’s plea follows a deal to testify against his counterpart, Elexus Groves.
Garcia pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to four counts, including two counts of unlawfully taking a vehicle and conspiring to illegally take a vehicle. However, the plea bargain also comes with a new charge: knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in grievous bodily harm or death. “You being a passenger with the driver of a motor vehicle involved in the deaths of Shaylee Boling and Shaunna Arredondo, you aided, abetted or caused the driver to knowingly fail to stop or return to the scene immediately of the accident to comply with New Mexico law. Did this happen in this case? A judge asked Garcia during the hearing. “Yes, your honor,” Garcia replied.
Court documents show Garcia will agree to testify in Elexus Groves’ trial, claiming she used methamphetamine shortly before stealing and driving a van as they fled from police in January 2017. During of the pursuit, police said she crashed into another car, killing 14 years. -old Shaylee Boling and her mother, Shaunna Arredondo-Boling. Documents show Garcia is also expected to testify that Groves told him she did not want to return to jail, as a possible reason for fleeing from police before the crash.
“When you change your guilty plea, you give up your right to bring this case to justice. You waive your right to present any defense you may have, your right to cross-examine state witnesses, your right to remain silent, and your right to appeal. Do you understand that you are waiving these rights? Asked the judge during the hearing. “Yes, I do, Your Honor,” Garcia replied.
Garcia and Groves have both pleaded not guilty to the first degree murder charges which were restored by the state Supreme Court late last year. Following the plea bargain, Garcia’s initial 10-year and six-month sentence will be reduced to six years, with four years of supervised probation.
Garcia is expected to be formally sentenced after testifying at Groves’ trial. The state’s lawsuit against Groves is scheduled to begin on August 10 and will run for approximately two weeks.