Richard Baca trial going through more delays

Tony Parra:PNT Staff Writer

A competency hearing for a 20-year-old Portales man accused of killing a Portales teen in 2004 was postponed Monday at the request of the defendant’s court-appointed attorney.

Ninth Judicial District Judge Stephen Quinn pushed back the date of a competency hearing at least 30 days while Richard Baca’s new attorney, Anna Aragon of Las Vegas, N.M., reviews the forensic competency report.

Aragon is the third attorney assigned to defend Baca, who faces a murder charge in connection with the death of Amber Robinson, 19, who was killed in late April of 2004. Her body was found by police on May 7, 2004, buried in the back yard of the residence of Richard Baca and his brother, Clifford Baca.

Clifford Baca, 21, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and tampering with evidence, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison in early March.

Aragon said in a teleconference she will meet with Richard Baca and District Attorney prosecutor Donna Mowrer in the next couple of weeks.

Quinn said during the competency hearing the trial dates will be set. Mowrer said it will take a week to hear the trial.
Baca faces first-degree murder and two counts of tampering with evidence and, if found guilty, would be sentenced to life in prison.

Public defender Ray Floersheim of Raton stepped down as Baca’s lawyer in late August, citing communication problems with the defendant.

Las Vegas, N.M., attorney Abigail Aragon took over representation of Richard Baca; however, in February she was appointed as 4th Judicial District Judge.