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Death penalty possible in child killings

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said he's still deciding whether or not to pursue capital punishment for Lawrenceville resident Elvis Garcia-Nelasco, indicted recently on charges he stabbed his three young sons, killing two.

Garcia-Nelasco, 23, is accused in the Feb. 9 slayings of Bradley, 3, and Edward, 1, and the stabbing of Bradley's twin, Joshua. A grand jury indicted him May 11 on two counts of murder and aggravated assault.

Porter said Joshua survived his injuries, following a stint at an Atlanta children's hospital, and lives with his mother.

Garcia-Nelasco was divorced from the boy's mother and initially blamed the slayings on her boyfriend, Antonio Cardenas-Rico, 28, with whom he'd exchanged threats.

Garcia-Nelasco's story crumbled when medical experts determined that stab wounds to his chest -- which he claimed were caused by the man who stormed his basement apartment near the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds -- were self-inflicted, authorities said.

Murder charges against Cardenas-Rico were dropped when video surveillance proved he was elsewhere when the boys were stabbed with a kitchen knife.

Cardenas-Rico, who claimed from the beginning he'd been framed, was held on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, after arresting police found drugs on him. The Las Vegas resident pleaded guilty May 10 and was sentenced in Gwinnett Superior Court under first offender status to 10 years probation.

According to jail records, Cardenas-Rico is being held for immigration authorities, though he told Atlanta media upon his arrest he's married and has kids with an American woman. His immigration attorney, Noah Pines, did not return calls for comment this week.

Garcia-Nelasco was also found to be an illegal immigrant, but that point could be moot. Porter has said the nature of the slayings and ages of the victims could warrant the death penalty.