Teen suspect in bartender’s death arrested for violating probation conditions

Matthew Baldonado, 15, has been arrested for violating conditions of his probation.
Matthew Baldonado, 15, has been arrested for violating conditions of his probation.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 has learned one of the teens accused of killing a beloved Albuquerque bartender in his driveway last June has been arrested for violating his conditions of probation.

Now 15 years old, Matthew Baldonado is the youngest teen suspected in the death of Steven Gerecke. He was 14 when he, along with five other teens, were arrested for gunning down Gerecke outside his home when Gerecke confronted the group for breaking into homes and cars.

In February of this year, Baldonado’s bond was lowered by a judge from $75,000 cash-only to $30,000 cash-or-surety, meaning he needed only $3,000 to get out of jail.

Baldonado bonded out of jail soon after and was put on probation.

Juvenile court records confirm Baldonado has been booked into juvenile detention for violating the conditions of that probation. What he did to violate probation, however, is sealed in juvenile records and cannot be released.

KRQE News 13 spoke with one of Baldonado’s family members on the phone Friday who said it was “nothing serious” and gave no further comment.

According to Albuquerque Police arrest report, Baldonado wouldn’t stop talking on the phone to his girlfriend when they went to arrest him at a different family member’s apartment Thursday around 5 p.m. He also shouted at officers “shoot me, motherf*****, do it!”

He was booked into juvenile jail around 8 p.m.

KRQE News 13 spoke with a neighbor who saw the arrest happen. Kenneth Fanning said Baldonado clearly wasn’t complying with officers.

Fanning also reacted to Baldonado’s bond being lowered earlier this year in regards to the probation violation.

“They should have never released him in the first place, is what it means to me,” Kenneth Fanning said.

Back in July, Baldonado went before a judge so that his attorney could update the judge on Baldonado’s competence to have case adjudicated. The judge decided to see Baldonado back in court in three months.

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