Teen murder suspect’s grandparents arrested for attacking alleged ‘snitch’

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Last week, Carla Palomino told KRQE News 13 her grandson is not a killer, despite what investigators say. Now, she and her husband are behind bars themselves after police said they threatened to kill a neighbor, and accused him of “snitching” on their grandson.

The parents of the six teens accused of killing Albuquerque bartender, Steven Gerecke, have gotten a lot of criticism from the community.

A grandmother of one of the youngest teens defended her grandson, but police said she crossed the line.

“We were there to pick up her pieces, and we took care of them, he is a good kid,” Carla Palomino told KRQE News 13 in an interview last week.

She was talking about her 14-year-old grandson, Enrique Palomino. He’s one of the youngest of six teens accused of killing Gerecke in his driveway.

Now, Carla and her husband, Leandro Sordia are in jail. Albuquerque Police said the two attacked a neighbor Tuesday at their Albuquerque apartment complex with a large butcher knife.

Investigators said the couple told the neighbor, “You f***** snitch, I’m gonna kill you.”

“Obviously the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree here, and the tree is rotten to the core,” said officer Simon Drobik, of the Albuquerque Police Department.

Drobik told KRQE News 13 law enforcement sees generations of criminals all too often. “It’s very hard to break that cycle,” he said.

Palomino and her husband have criminal records themselves. Carla Palomino has been arrested for drugs and assault, while Sordia has violent arrests dating back more than a decade.

“You know they’re always partying,” said Mark Perley, one of the couple’s neighbors. “They pissed everybody off, started doing more stuff,” he added.

Perley wasn’t the one threatened, but, he told KRQE News 13 their arrest doesn’t surprise him.

“It’s everyday here, you can leave today and later on at night someone’s going to come up with a knife or do something,” said Perley. “It’s not just the one, it’s an every day occurrence here on this side of town.”

According to an arrest warrant, when Sordia lunged at his neighbor with a butcher knife, he and Carla Palomino backed off only after the neighbor told them he had a gun.

Detectives said Palomino told her husband, “not here,” adding, “my sons are coming to kill you, you f***** snitch.”

Since Gerecke’s murder, his family has been vocal about holding the teen suspect’s parents accountable.

“They’re asking where were the parents? Well she’s not here but I am,” Carla Palomino said during last week’s interview. Now she’s behind bars, just like her grandson.

Even though Palomino’s grandma accused her neighbor of “snitching,” that neighbor told detectives he didn’t know about Gerecke’s murder, or her grandson’s involvement.

A judge set Sordia’s bond Thursday at $50,000 cash or surety. Carla Palomino is scheduled for a court appearance Friday afternoon.

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