Teens appear in court

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Three Tucumcari juveniles, charged with conspiracy to commit murder, made court appearances on Wednesday. All three pleaded not guilty to the charges against them, court records show.

The juveniles, two 17-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy, were brought before Judge Ricky D. Purcell in the 10th Judicial District Court at the Quay County Courthouse in Tucumcari.

Each was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with statements made while being questioned on Sunday at the Tucumcari police headquarters, said detective Jack Hendrickson of the Tucumcari Police Department. Police allege the boys threatened to injure an unknown person they said was trying to sell drugs to another boy.

At the arraignment on Wednesday, Purcell ruled there was sufficient evidence to detain and charge the juveniles, the court records show.

If convicted of all the charges, the juveniles will be sentenced to a detention facility until they are 21, said Quay County Assistant District Attorney Kirk C. Chavez.
Court records also show the court will appoint a defense attorney for the juveniles. The documents did not indicate if a bond had been set.

The parent of one of the 17-year-old boys declined comment. Parents of the other 17-year-old boy did not return telephone messages and the parents of the 15-year-old boy could not be reached for comment.

According to court documents, the juveniles were to be taken to a juvenile detention center. The boys had been held at the Curry County Juvenile Detention Center, but officials there would not confirm on Friday if the juveniles were still at the center.

According to court documents:
• In addition to conspiracy to commit murder, one of the 17-year-old boys is charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer, negligent use of a firearm, minor in possession of alcoholic beverages, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, resisting, evading or obstructing an officer and unlawful possession of a switchblade.
• The other 17-year-old boy was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.
• The 15-year-old boy was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and minor in possession of alcoholic beverages.