West News Wire: According to authorities, a former Republican candidate for the New Mexico House of Representatives was detained on Monday for allegedly arranging men to open fire on Democratic residents’ homes.
In four separate occurrences from December 4, 2022, to January 3, four local Democratic officials in Albuquerque had their homes shot at, according to a news release from the Albuquerque Police Department.
According to the APD, Solomon Pea will face charges in connection with shootings that took place at the homes of Adriann Barboa, a Bernalillo County Commissioner, on December 4, 2022; Javier Martinez, the Speaker of the New Mexico House; Debbie O’Malley, a Bernalillo County Commissioner at the time; and Linda Lopez, a state senator, on December 8 and December 11, respectively.
“APD has arrested Solomon Peña for the recent shootings at local lawmakers’ homes,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina tweeted. “Peña, an unsuccessful legislative candidate in the 2022 election, is accused of conspiring with, and paying four other men to shoot at the homes of 2 county commissioners and 2 state legislators.”
No one was injured in the shootings, and police expect to file charges for the other men who were allegedly involved.
Peña allegedly “paid the men cash and sent text messages with addresses where he wanted them to shoot at the homes,” the APD said in the press release.
He also allegedly “went with the men and attempted to shoot at one of the homes, but the AR handgun he was using malfunctioned. Another shooter fired more than a dozen rounds from a separate handgun,” according to police.
The county commissioners and state senator said Peña “showed up uninvited at their homes in November after the election” and “provided them with documents that he said indicated fraud in the election results,” the APD said.
Peña lost his race for state House District 14 to incumbent Rep. Miguel Garcia by more than 3,600 votes, police said.
“Garcia had sued Peña in August 2022, arguing that Peña was not eligible to serve in the legislature because he is a convicted felon and was not pardoned by the governor,” the APD said. “A judge ruled in September that Peña could remain on the ballot because the law is unconstitutional.”