New Mexico candidate charged with shooting, denied bond

ALBUQUERQUE — A political novice who lost his bid for the New Mexico Statehouse and is accused of orchestrating a series of drive-by shootings at the homes of Democratic officials will remain in custody pending trial, a judge said on Monday has agreed that he is a danger to the community.

Solomon Peña, 39, faces multiple counts including shooting at an apartment and possession of a firearm by a criminal.

No one was hurt in the shootings, but the case has reignited debate over whether lawmakers should make it harder for people charged with violent crimes to post bail as New Mexico struggles with persistent violent crime.

Peña’s defense attorney questioned the credibility of a confidential witness who shared information with authorities, saying some of the testimonies used in a criminal complaint were contradictory. She also argued that her client’s criminal record did not include any violent convictions or firearms crimes and that he has not been in trouble with the law since his release from prison in 2016, barring two trafficking allegations.