One of the suspects implicated in the tragic killing of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas is being released from custody prior to the trial. Daniel Gomez, alongside his co-defendants, faces charges of murder and various other offenses related to the shooting that claimed Froylan’s life and left his cousin, Tatiana Villegas, injured outside Isotopes Park last month.
The prosecution initially sought to keep Gomez detained until the trial. However, they withdrew this motion, asserting that Gomez played a smaller role in the shooting than initially believed. Despite his co-defendants remaining in jail awaiting trial, Gomez awaited the judge’s decision on the conditions of his release. On Wednesday, Judge Emeterio Rudolfo expressed some reservations.
“It’s still an open count of murder that hasn’t been dismissed or reduced in any way,” noted Rudolfo.
As part of his release conditions, Gomez will be required to wear a GPS monitor, observe house arrest, and can only leave for employment purposes.
“The court cannot obviously retain you when there’s no motion before the court,” Rudolfo stated. “I would like something more in line with a house arrest on the GPS and just out to work and nothing else.”
Judge Rudolfo underscored the gravity of the murder charge and emphasized Gomez’s fortune in light of the altered stance by prosecutors regarding pretrial detention.
“The nature of the charge, you’re pretty fortunate that the state withdrew their motion for preventative detention,” Rudolfo pointed out. “In order to remain at liberty, however, you need to comply with all these conditions. Otherwise, you’ll be back in jail awaiting resolution of your case.”
Gomez assured the court that he understood and intended to adhere to all specified conditions. “Yes, your honor. I understand every condition, and I plan on abiding by those rules at all costs,” Gomez affirmed.
The shooting of the 11-year-old was the justification Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham used to sign an unconstitutional executive order banning all open or concealed carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County — a move that a federal Joe Biden-appointed judge quickly struck down.