Teens accused of killing homeless men face judge

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The three teens accused of beating two homeless men to death for the fun of it over the weekend, appeared in metro court on Monday. Much of the community is still shaken by the violence of the murders and the judge did not go easy on them.

Gilbert Tafoya, 15, Nathaniel Carrillo, 16, and Alex Rios, 18, faced a judge for the violent murders of two homeless men over the weekend. The metro court judge set each of their bonds at $5 million cash or surety.

The teens, along with their families, stayed silent in court. However, the three friends said a lot to police. According to a criminal complaint, the teens admitted to using metal poles, sticks, cinder blocks and bricks to attack three homeless men in their sleep.

Police said one victim was able to escape. Court documents state the man said he woke up to the teens kicking and beating him. He said he ran away and heard one of the teens shout at him. The man stated he recognized the teen’s voice as one of the people who live in a home just yards from where the crime happened.

The man who survived the attack told detectives the teens “have been known to beat up homeless people in the past, and were responsible for beating up his mother in the past.”

Detectives said the the two bodies found on the mattress had been badly beaten.

Tafoya told detectives he and his friends got back from a party and he was upset after breaking up with his girlfriend. The teens said their plan was to attack and rob the homeless men. According to the criminal complaint, Tafoya said he and Carrillo also shoved dirt in the men’s faces after killing them.

The crime has shaken people in the neighborhood.

“The way they said it was such a violent crime, you know that’s the scary thing about it, is to know that they were so close,” said one man, who did not want to be identified. “We get a lot of homeless people, but like I say, they don’t bother nobody, they come and once in a while ask for change and water and stuff and we try to help them out as much as possible.”

The neighbor, who works nearby, said it’s sad to see a vulnerable population targeted like this.

Tafoya and Carrillo, both underage, were transferred from juvenile to metro court Monday for their arraignments. Along with Rios, they’ll be treated as adults in the court system.

According to a criminal complaint, Tafoya admitted the three teens have been randomly attacking homeless people for months. Police said he estimated they’ve attacked more than 50 people since they moved into the house on Central in Albuquerque.

The $5 million cash or surety bond the judge set, means it’ll cost each of them at least $500,000 to bond out. Police are still waiting on the Office of the Medical Investigator to identify the two victims.

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