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New Mexico’s failed GOP candidate, Solomon Pena, denied bond in the shooting case


The New Mexico man accused of masterminding a string of shootings at the homes of Democratic officials in December and January declined to bond Monday.

State Judge David Murphy agreed with prosecutors that 39-year-old Solomon Peña, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the state of New Mexico, is too dangerous to be released from prison and ordered him held pending trial.

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Peña faces multiple charges including shooting into a dwelling, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Prosecutors described Peña as the “leader” of the group that shot up the homes of Democratic lawmakers in Albuquerque. According to police, he allegedly paid $500 to four men and drove off together for the final stretch. No one was injured in the shooting.

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Shooting began in December. 4, 2022, about a month after he received just 26 percent of the vote in the race for New Mexico House District 14. The final shooting occurred around midnight on Jan. 3 at the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez, who said multiple bullets passed through from her 10-year-old daughter’s bedroom.


Solomon Pena listens as Judge David Murphy orders the defendant to remain behind bars during a court appearance on January 23, 2023 in Albuquerque.
Solomon Pena listens as Judge David Murphy orders the defendant to remain behind bars during a court appearance on January 23, 2023 in Albuquerque.
AP

Peña was previously incarcerated for nine years after being arrested as part of a burglary ring in April 2007.

His defense attorney argued in court Monday that he had turned his life around after being released from prison and that no DNA evidence linked him to the weapons seized during the investigation.

Police are also investigating whether donations made to Peña’s campaign came in part through drug trafficking.