The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Clovis cop shooter gets 10 more years

 

November 8, 2017



CLOVIS — The Clovis man convicted in the spring for shooting a city police officer has been sentenced to an additional 10 years in prison, bringing his potential commitment behind bars to almost 35 years.

Anthony Baca, 35, was sentenced Monday by Judge Fred Van Soelen to 10 years in the Department of Corrections for felony robbery, felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor aggravated battery, charges dating to January 2016 and of which a jury found him guilty last month.

That represented the maximum sentence and included mandatory one-year enhancements for each felony charge due to a prior felony conviction, said a news release Tuesday from District Attorney Andrea Reeb. The same is true for Baca’s convictions in three other trials since February and in his guilty plea this summer on a felony failure to appear case.

“During the last two years, Baca was pending jury trials in six different matters,” said the release. “The most notable was for shooting a police officer. Of the six matters, one case was dismissed by prosecutors for a negative test result on the controlled substances.”

Among the other cases was a sentencing of 4 1/2 years Aug. 29 for felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia, assault upon a police officer and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, charges dating to Nov. 30, 2015.

Defense attorney Brett Carter represented Baca on that case as well as the one sentenced Monday. He said Tuesday that he was in the process of appealing Baca’s conviction on the case from 2015 and that his sentencing this week could amount to less than five years in prison, given his existing credit of more than a year in custody while awaiting that trial and the possibility of release on parole after serving 50 percent time.

“The judges haven’t given him a break, and the jury found him not guilty of the two most serious charges in that case so Mr. Baca was pretty happy about that,” Carter said.

Baca also received two separate sentences of 2 1/2 years, the first in mid-February for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon conviction and the other Aug.1 for his guilty plea on a felony failure to appear charge from August 2016.

The sum of those sentences is 19 1/2 years, for a total that more than doubles the 15-year sentence Baca received May 23 after being convicted of assault with intent to commit a violent felony a peace officer, aggravated battery upon a peace officer and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

Those guilty verdicts came after a day-long jury trial pertaining to charges from Aug. 29, 2016, when Baca shot at CPD officer Chris Caron during a foot pursuit and left him with a grazing gunshot wound from which the officer recovered.

Judge Drew Tatum said during his sentencing then that Baca showed a “low to non-existent capacity to reform” and that his behavior “just shows a disregard for life and humanity.”

Baca is required to serve 85 percent of his sentence on the officer shooting before becoming eligible for parole, while the other sentences only require 50 percent time, Reeb said.

“Our office is happy to see Baca is finally going off to prison where he belongs. I hope this sends a strong message that if you are a repeat offender in the 9th Judicial District, our office will aggressively prosecute any violent offender,” she said in the release.

Reeb said multiple prosecutors worked on Baca’s various cases and told The News on Tuesday that she was "on a mission.”

Baca’s multiple sentences are to be served consecutively and he currently has no other pending cases, she added.

 

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