Nathen Garley wanted to settle an old feud with a rival on Sept. 6 when he stood up in the sunroof of a car and fired at least 14 gunshots into the wrong white pickup, killing an 11-year-old boy and critically injuring his cousin, an Albuquerque detective said Friday.
Garley, 21, one of three men charged with an open count of murder and other crimes in the shootings outside Isotopes Park, was ordered by 2nd Judicial District Judge Emeterio Rudolfo to remain in custody pending trial.
Garley, Jose Romero, 22, and Daniel Gomez, 26, also face an open count of murder. Each is also charged with attempted murder, shooting from a vehicle, conspiracy and child abuse charges.
Garley’s attorney, Marie Legrand Miller, said he faces federal charges that require him to remain in federal custody. She did not propose any conditions for Garley’s release on the 2nd Judicial District Court charges.
Garley faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute 400 grams of fentanyl stemming from a Sept. 13 arrest near Grants with more than 100,000 fentanyl pills weighing roughly 22 pounds, federal court records show.
Albuquerque Police Department Det. David Small told the judge that on Sept. 6, Garley stood up in the sunroof of a black Dodge Durango and fired multiple gunshots, killing 11-year-old Froylan Villegas and paralyzing Froylan’s cousin, Tatiana Villegas, 23.
As Isotopes fans began streaming away from the ballpark after the game, Garley, Romero and Moran drove on Avenida Cesar Chavez searching for a white Dodge pickup that they believed was occupied by rival gang members.
Surveillance video showed that a black Dodge Durango made a U-turn and sped through a red light before pulling alongside the passenger side of the Villegas’ pickup.
Garley “charged his weapon, which means to rack the slide of the gun,” described as a Glock 19 9mm handgun with an extended magazine, Small testified. As Romero drove the car, “Mr. Garley then stood out of the sunroof as Mr. Romero slowed the vehicle,” he said.
Police found that 14 rounds penetrated the pickup, striking Froylan and Tatiana Villegas with multiple gunshots, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
Crime scene officials found a total of 16 shell casings at the scene.
Small said he learned the identity of the gunman from Gomez, who told police he hid on the floor of the Dodge Durango as the shooting unfolded. Gomez said he had known Garley only a short time and was “new to the group,” Small said.
But Garley had fired on the wrong white Dodge pickup.
Earlier that evening, Garley, Romero and Gomez had crossed paths at the Isotopes game with a man who shared a long history of bad blood with Garley.
“That night, there had been an ongoing feud for over five months” between Garley and the other man, Small told the judge. That dispute included gunfights at various locations around Albuquerque, he said.
Garley and his rival didn’t fight during the Isotopes game, but they were “mad dogging” each other, Small said. The other man also was with a group of people, including several juveniles.
Security video confirmed that the two groups “followed each other” and made threatening gestures during the baseball game. Garley also contacted another group believed to be his allies who arrived at stadium in a red sedan, Small said.
The rival group drove around the parking lot in a white Dodge pickup looking for Garley and his companions, but eventually drove away from the area, Small said. The red sedan also apparently left the area.
A judge last week also ordered Romero held in jail while awaiting trial. Gomez’s detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
After the fatal shooting, Garley was arrested on a federal drug charge and held in federal custody for several days before his release to a halfway house.
At about 3:55 a.m. on Sept. 13, a New Mexico State Police officer pulled over a car driving on Interstate 40 in Cibola County occupied by Garley and his girlfriend, federal court records show. The officer searched the car and found a large duffel bag believed to contain fentanyl.
On Sept. 18, U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Yarbrough ordered Garley released to a halfway house on the recommendation of federal pretrial services, federal court records show. On Tuesday, Yarbrough revoked Garley’s release and ordered him to remain in federal custody.
On Sept. 22, a warrant was issued for Garley’s arrest in the Isotopes Park shootings, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.