Clovis, NM - Ninth Judicial District Attorney Andrea Reeb announced that Anthony M. Baca, age 35, of Clovis, was found guilty today of Assault with Intent to Commit A Violent Felony on a Peace Officer, a second degree felony; Aggravated Battery on a Peace Officer, a third degree felony; and Resisting Arrest, a misdemeanor. A Curry County jury deliberated just over one hour before returning their guilty verdicts.
On August 29, 2016, Officer Chris Caron stopped Baca, who was riding his bicycle, for a minor traffic offense. A warrant check revealed an outstanding felony warrant for failure to appear. When Caron attempted to arrest him, Baca resisted and ran down an alley. Caron chased him deploying his Taser, when Baca pulled out a gun and shot Caron. Caron was transported to a local hospital and treated for his injury and released. The bullet grazed Caron’s thigh and he returned to active duty shortly after the shooting. Baca finally turned himself in on August 31, 2016, through his attorney.
The Honorable Drew D. Tatum presided over the trial today. After hearing statements from law enforcement officers, Tatum sentenced Baca to the maximum of 15 years in prison which included enhancements for a prior felony conviction. Additionally, the crimes are classified as serious violent offenses, which means Baca will have to serve 85% of the sentence before being considered for release/parole. Judge Tatum stated that, “Law enforcement puts their lives on the line every day to protect and serve the people of our community. Baca decided to place an officer’s life at risk because he didn’t want to go to jail and the officer could easily have been murdered.” Tatum further stated that, “Baca’s criminal history and crimes are escalating in severity and rehabilitation seems non-existent.”
District Attorney, Andrea Reeb prosecuted the case for the State. Criminal Defense Attorney, Julita Leavell, of Albuquerque, represented Baca.
For more information, please contact the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office at 575-769-2246.