Months before the November election, Mr. Garcia asked a New Mexico court to bar Mr. Peña from the ballot because of the convictions, according to The Albuquerque Journal. The court ruled in favor of Mr. Peñadeclaring that a state law barring felons from holding office unless pardoned by the governor was unconstitutional.
As for the recent shootings, police said Monday that the investigation will continue.
Kyle Hartsock, deputy commander of the police department’s homicide unit, said Monday that police “have someone involved in this conspiracy who is talking to police.” That person, he said, helped confirm that Mr. Peña was at the Jan. 3 shooting.
Mr. Hartsock said Mr. Peña hired other people to carry out at least two of the shootings and that Mr. Peña texted the addresses of the shootings, in one case just hours before the shooting. The ongoing investigation will involve “more warrants and interviewing more individuals,” Mr. Hartsock said.
“We’re not at the end yet,” he added.
Police said in a statement that search warrants were executed on Monday “at the home of two of the men who were allegedly paid” by Mr Peña.
Mr. Peña’s arrest comes amid a recent increase in threats and attacks against elected officials from both parties, and is yet another illustration of the danger facing elected officials in the United States as violent political speech increasingly – often crosses the line into personal confrontation.
Last year, a gunman who repeatedly showed up outside the Seattle home of Rep. Pramila Jayapal was charged with stalking. A visitor smashed a storm window at Sen. Susan Collins’ home in Bangor, Maine. And an intruder broke into Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s home in San Francisco and attacked her husbandPaul Pelosi, with a gavel.
But Mr. Peña’s case is different, at least in part because he was a political candidate just weeks before the New Mexico shootings.
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