Fifth homicide defendant arraigned

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A fifth homicide defendant was arraigned Monday in connection with the shooting death in September of a 10-year-old Clovis boy.

David “Smokey” Griego, 30, was indicted Friday as an accessory to murder in the Sept. 15 homicide of Carlos Perez, who was killed when several rounds were fired into his bedroom window and hit him in the head. Police have said Perez’ older brother Ruben, who shared the bedroom, was the intended target.

Also charged in the shooting are brothers Demetrio Salas, 19, and Edward Salas, 21, and Noe Torres, 26. Torres is still at large, according to a Monday news release.

Griego is charged with accessory to first-degree murder, accessory to attempted first degree murder, accessory to shooting into a dwelling, tampering with evidence and felon in possession of a firearm.
His arrest was based on information provided by Orlando Salas, 16, in a May plea agreement.

District Attorney Matt Chandler said at this time there are no new arrests are anticipated.

Griego, Torres and Edward and Demetrio Salas will be tried together in August, according to a release from the district attorney’s office. If convicted, they face life in prison, the release said.

According to court records, Orlando Salas had a dispute with Ruben Perez at school and told investigators when he talked to Demetrio Salas about it later that evening his brother became angry. He told Orlando Salas to fetch a handgun from the garage of their residence.

Orlando Salas told investigators Demetrio Salas and Griego dropped him off at a friend’s house the night of the shooting and preceded to the Perez residence. Demetrio Salas told Orlando Salas he had “shot nine rounds through the window,” according to records.

Witness interviews and evidence revealed in the investigation suggests Demetrio Salas and Griego met up with Edward Salas and Torres at the scene, according to Chandler.

Orlando Salas, 16, reached the plea agreement with prosecutors, offering information leading to further arrests in exchange for being charged as a minor.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, accessory to first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

He was remanded to the custody of the Children Youth and Families Department and will be paroled when he reaches age 21.