Skip to comments.Clue Could Help Solve Killings (Assault rifle believed used in NM triple slaying)
Posted on 12/23/2002 6:30:34 PM PST by CedarDave
Monday, December 23, 2002
Clue Could Help Solve Killings
By Jeff Jones Journal Staff Writer
The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department says it has tracked down what might be another important clue in the unsolved 1999 East Mountains triple killings.
The possible weapon an AK-47 assault rifle was probably altered so that it had a much more distinctive look than a standard AK-47, said sheriff's Sgt. Gregg Marcantel. He heads the task force looking into the deaths of teenage friends Kevin Shirley, Luis Garcia and Matt Hunt.
Investigators have reconstructed a gun that they believe looks like the possible weapon. They have released a photograph of it in hopes that it could generate more leads in the May 29, 1999, slayings.
The new gun information "offers a huge potential to narrow our field of search" for the boys' killer or killers, Marcantel said during an interview late last week.
Shirley and Hunt, both 17, and Garcia, 16, were shot to death after leaving a gathering in the Sandia Knolls subdivision north of Tijeras. They were in a compact car at the intersection of Pinon Heights Road and Jennifer Drive when they were killed.
The deaths have become the Albuquerque area's most notorious unsolved homicide case. A reward fund which has topped $100,000 has yet to be tapped.
Late last month, the task force revealed that it had recovered a piece of a chopped-up AK-47 but would not say where or when the gun was found or what led investigators to it.
Marcantel said the piece could be from the weapon used to shoot the teens. The Sheriff's Department plans to do some "unconventional" forensic testing on the gun piece in hopes of determining that.
The gun piece has a plastic forearm on it, Marcantel said. He said the task force has consulted with gun experts and has learned that the forearm was from a "Dragunov" stock conversion kit that can be purchased from gun shops, gun shows, through mail-order shops and over the Internet.
The kit consists of a forearm and gunstock that make an AK-47 appear more like a Dragunov, which is a Russian sniper rifle. The Dragunov is a fairly uncommon weapon.
Marcantel said such kits would probably be more popular with younger gun owners.
He is asking anyone who may have had a gun with such a kit stolen before the shootings, or anyone who may have known someone with such a gun, to call the task force at 768-4115.
Copyright 2002 Albuquerque Journal
(BTW, another equally horrific mass killing took place further to the south near Torreon several years ago. Drugs were the cause of the murder of several men and a woman in a cabin. After the woman was murdered, the killers left the cabin, but ignored two little baby girls who were the woman's daughters. When the owner of the cabin returned many weeks later, he found the murder victims and the little girls who had died of dehydration, exposure and starvation. The killers were caught but used a "they shot first" defense. After several trials and plea agreements, jail time has been minimal for them. A case of jurors feeling sorry for the defendents, not the victims.)
It's just another jury that has no brains or backbone. Juries like this are peppered in every court across America. Just another sympathetic jury for the criminals.
Thanks for posting the article.