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A second man pleads guilty in shootings targeting New Mexico Democratic officials’ homes

A second man has pleaded guilty in connection to a series of shootings targeting the homes of Democratic officials in New Mexico following a GOP candidate’s failed 2022 election bid, according to court documents.

Demetrio Trujillo, 42, faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to conspiracy, interference with federally protected activities, using and carrying a firearm during a violent crime and discharging a firearm, the US Department of Justice said in a news release Friday.

Trujillo will remain in custody until his sentencing on May 1, federal officials added. CNN has reached out to Trujillo’s attorney for comment.

Trujillo, his son José Trujillo and the candidate, Solomon Peña, were all indicted in the alleged conspiracy last year. Peña was accused of masterminding the series of shootings at the homes of elected Democrats.

The son, José Trujillo, had aided Peña with his unsuccessful November 2022 campaign bid for District 14 of the New Mexico House of Representatives, court documents show.

Peña lost 74% to 26% to Democratic state Rep. Miguel Garcia, CNN previously reported. The Board of Commissioners voted to certify the election that Peña lost on November 21, 2022, according to the US Attorney’s Office in the District of New Mexico.

After losing, Peña approached some Bernalillo County commissioners at their homes, uninvited, to allege the election results were fraudulent, police and officials have said.

False and unfounded claims about election fraud have exploded nationwide in recent years and fueled anger and threats of violence against elected officials – even in local politics.

Peña is accused of then coordinating the shootings at officials’ homes in Albuquerque. The officials’ homes were targeted to intimidate them, Demetrio Trujillo states in the plea agreement.

“Peña decided to pressure the members of the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners to refuse to certify the results of the election. He paid me to help, and I agreed,” Demetrio Trujillo’s plea agreement says.

Gunshots were fired into the homes of a commissioner on December 4; the incoming state House Speaker on December 8; another commissioner on December 11; and a state senator on January 3, 2023, according to Albuquerque police.

No one was injured in any of the shootings, which included at least one bullet flying through a child’s bedroom while she was inside, police previously said.

Demetrio Trujillo’s plea comes after his son last month pleaded guilty to charges related to the shootings, according to court records.

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