ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Jurors have found Ronald Santiago not guilty on all counts.
Santiago was accused of shooting and killing Greg and Bernadette Olemacher in 2005 to cover up a mortgage deal gone bad.
Santiago’s defense claimed he had no motive and accused the Olemacher’s daughter Renee for the murders.
Three days after the case went to the jury, and after more than a month of testimony, Santiago is now clear of all charges.
“It feels so right. I mean, all we’ve asked for this entire time is just the truth and let everything work itself from there,” said an emotional Santiago outside the courtroom. “Thanks to Mr. Riggs and Natalie and Joe, the defense team. I mean, they believed in me.”
Outside the courthouse, Santiago hugged family and friends and broke down because of the verdict. He said the days waiting for the jury’s decision were stressful for him.
“Sometimes I felt like I was climbing the walls waiting patiently waiting, but it’s the process of our judicial system I respect it,” Santiago said.
During the trial, Renee was put on the stand for several days. She had been cleared as a suspect soon after her parents were murdered.
Defense attorneys said she could have murdered her parents for life insurance money. They had her read angry journal entries about her parents, too, trying to show she did not have a good relationship with them.
Detectives involved in the investigation were also put on the stand. Some said Renee’s actions after the murders were strange, but she was ultimately not considered a suspect. A polygraph test Renee took came back inconclusive.
Family members who took the stand also thought Renee could have killed her parents.
But for Bernadette Ohlemacher’s sister, the “not guilty verdict” doesn’t mean Santiago’s innocent.
“There are times, yes, that I do feel that he was, yes, and there were times that I wasn’t sure, and I’m not sure,” Antoinette Curran said.
The defense put Curran on the stand because she’s always suspected Renee had something to do with the crime.
“My feelings about what involvement she may have had haven’t changed,” she said. “She didn’t do this alone.”
Prosecutors left the courtroom abruptly after the not guilty verdict was read, and did not talk to the press.
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