Murder trial set to begin in Portales

Freedom Newspapers

The trial of one of the men accused of first-degree murder of a Portales teen girl begins on Monday in the Roosevelt County District Courthouse.

Clifford Baca, 21, will be on trial for the murder of 19-year-old Amber Robinson. Clifford Baca is facing charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with Robinson’s death.

It is scheduled to be a week-long trial from Monday through Friday in Portales. According to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler, Clifford Baca could be sentenced to the maximum life in prison (30 years in New Mexico), for first-degree murder.

Richard Baca, 19, the younger brother of Clifford, is also scheduled to stand trial for the first-degree murder of Robinson. Chandler said dates have not been set for Richard Baca’s trial as of Friday afternoon.

Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn granted attorney Ray Floersheim a motion to withdraw as court-appointed counsel for Baca. The Raton attorney cited communication problems as the main reason and this delayed the trial further.

Clifford Baca is being held on a $150,000 cash-only bond in the Roosevelt County Detention Center. Richard Baca is being held at the RCDC under a $300,00 cash-only bond.

Robinson was reported missing by her family on April 26, 2004. When her family could not locate her, police launched an investigation and found her body on May 7 buried at the Baca home.