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15-year-old charged in slaying of two teens last year

Collin Romero and Ahmed Lateef (Source: APD)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The District Attorney’s Office has charged a teenage boy in the slaying of two friends who were seen being brutally tortured on a video that was shared on social media late last year.

It appears 15-year-old Julio Fabian “FaFa” Almentero is the first to face murder charges in the case. He is charged with two counts of murder, three counts of tampering with evidence, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of armed robbery. A Bernalillo County spokeswoman said she could not release any information on whether he was in custody.

The arrest warrant affidavit charging Almentero is sealed because the information within it could interfere with the investigation, identify confidential sources and result in obstruction of justice, according to a court order.

Almentero was named a suspect during a detention hearing for another young man last spring. Prosecutors have said Stephen Goldman, 20, and Jimmie Atkins, 23, were also involved in killing 14-year-old Ahmed Lateef and 15-year-old Collin Romero but they have not been charged.

Both Goldman and Atkins are behind bars in an unrelated robbery and shooting from November 2018.

Last month Goldman pleaded guilty in that case and to another shooting, and Atkins is awaiting trial.

Prosecutors have said Goldman, Atkins and Almentero can be seen beating and yelling at Lateef and Romero in a video shared on the Snapchat messaging app. Lateef and Romero had been reported missing on Dec. 16 and were found buried in shallow graves in the mesa northwest of Rio Rancho a couple of weeks later. They had been shot, beaten and stabbed all over their bodies.

Almentero’s uncle, Anthony Aragon, 37, is charged with two counts of tampering with evidence in the boys’ burial and is in jail in Nevada on armed robbery charges. Goldman’s father, Stephen Goldman Sr., is also charged with two counts of tampering with evidence.

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