March 23, 2023

A New Mexico grand jury has indicted Solomon Peña, the failed GOP state house candidate, for shooting at Democratic officials’ homes throughout Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office announced on Monday. 

Peña ran to represent state House District 14 on a far-right platform decrying Critical Race Theory, feminism and “the demonic theories of the Globalist Elites,” but he lost to Democratic incumbent Miguel Garcia by a landslide. During the midterms, he took to Twitter to complain that the race was illegitimate before it was even over and claimed that the election was “rigged” against him.

After his loss, he visited the homes of local Democratic officials to make his case and hand out pamphlets about voter fraud after the race, according to police. But he then returned with four men he’d allegedly paid $500—including father-son duo Demetrio Trujillo and José Trujillo, according to a relative—allegedly to intimidate the officials.

“There is probable cause to believe that soon after this unsuccessful campaign, he conspired with Demetrio, José, and two brothers, to commit these four shootings at elected local and state government officials’ homes,” Albuquerque Police Detective Conrad Griego wrote in the affidavit. “Solomon provided firearms and cash payments and personally participated in at least one shooting.”

Griego also wrote that he believed “Solomon intended to serious injury (sic) or cause death to occupants inside their homes,” per the affidavit. 

The homes of former Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, current commissioner Adrianna Barboa, State Senators Linda Lopez and Antonio ‘Moe” Maestas, as well as a campaign office for state Attorney General Raul Torrez, were targeted in the attack.

Peña was arrested on Jan. 6 by an Albuquerque police SWAT team. Last week, District Court judge David Murphy denied his attorney’s request for bail because he couldn’t guarantee the officials’ safety if he were released.

The grand jury indicted Peña Monday on 14 criminal charges including three counts of conspiracy to commit a shooting at a dwelling, three counts of shooting from a motor vehicle, and one count of aggravated battery.

“We want to thank the Albuquerque Police Department and our other law enforcement partners for bringing Mr. Peña to justice, Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman said in a statement. “An attack on elected leaders is an attack on our democracy.”

his article initially made one incorrect reference to the elected position Pena ran for. He ran for New Mexico state house. TPM regrets this error.

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