Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Last Defendant Goes Free.

Byline: Guillermo Contreras And Lloyd Jojola Journal Staff Writers


Charges Dropped in Deaths of Boys, Couple

Charges were dismissed Friday against the last of the four defendants arrested in the deaths of a couple and two children at a remote cabin near Torreon in 1995.

At a news conference Friday at the Albuquerque office of one of his attorneys, Shaun Wilkins, 23, expressed relief that 7th Judicial District Attorney Clint Wellborn had decided to dismiss all charges against him, including four counts of first-degree murder.

"I still don't believe it," Wilkins said. "I'm sitting here like 'phew, it's been a long time of my life.' ''

His sister said Wilkins' family planned a barbecue to celebrate. Wilkins, who spent four years in jail before being released on bond in April 2000, said he is innocent. He said he is no longer involved in gangs and is working.

Wilkins was tried in 1997 in Socorro in connection with the killings of Cassandra Sedillo, 23, her sons, Johnny Ray, 4, and Matthew Garcia, 3, and Sedillo's boyfriend, Ben Anaya Jr., 17. It resulted in a mistrial, and he faced a retrial in June.

The victims' bodies were found in April 1996. Investigators determined Sedillo and Anaya had been shot in December 1995. The boys were left inside the locked cabin and died of thirst and hunger.

Relatives of Sedillo and Anaya were outraged at the decision to dismiss Wilkins' case. …

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