Family of Shot Teen Expresses Outrage Over Grand Jury Decision

The family of a teenager shot to death last month is upset after a Nueces County grand jury decided not to indict their son's accused killer on murder charges.

The stepfather and mother of 16-year old Riley Nein, who was shot and killed on the Fourth of July this year, are blaming the District Attorney's Office for the outcome.

It was the night of July 4 that Nein was shot in the chest on the 4000 block of Lamont Street. A juvenile was detained in connection with that shooting, and while the grand jury did not pursue a murder charge, they did grant three aggravated assault charges against the juvenile.

"As the district attorney, we would like for Mark to, you know, take responsibility," Nein's stepfather David Encinia said. "It's his office, and he's in charge of it, and he should be able to manage it or put somebody in charge who has the experience for a case like this."

"Something went wrong with the paperwork from 40-20, to a plea of 15, to nothing, so Rita or somebody in that office did something wrong, and that's what we need to find out," Nein's mother Lana Encinia said.

The Encinia's laid the majority of the blame at the feet of Assistant District Attorney Rita Morales, called her incompetent, inexperienced, misleading and dishonest, and saying that she did not do her job.

District Attorney Mark Skurka disagrees with the family's assessment of his office's work in the case.

"This case was completely investigated by the District Attorney's Office. Rita Morales is my most experienced juvenile prosecutor, has been there at the juvenile department for over eight years handling a variety of cases from misdemeanors to felonies," Skurka said by phone. "At the grand jury, Rita Morales was assisted by Gail Loeb, the first assistant district attorney, who has over 20 years experience in criminal cases and prosecutions. So to say that it was handed off to an inexperienced person is simply not correct."

Skurka said his heart does go out to the Encinia's, but he does stand by the quality of the work that his office did in presenting the case to the grand jury.


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