Teen accused in Albuquerque man’s murder takes plea deal


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of the teens accused of murdering Steven Gerecke was supposed to face a judge Tuesday to see if he’s competent to stand trial. Instead, he took a plea deal.

Matthew Baldonado
Matthew Baldonado

Matthew Baldonado, 15, pled no contest to a number of charges but not murder. Baldonado is one of six teens police say gunned down Gerecke, a well-liked Albuquerque bartender, last year.

Matthew Baldonado ended up back in jail in September after violating his curfew. That arrest captured on lapel video shows the teen not cooperating and mouthing off to officers.

The defense said the Baldonado was in fact competent to stand trial but Baldonado cut a deal with prosecutors instead. He pleaded guilty to four charges including burglary with a deadly weapon and conspiracy.

The murder charge was dropped, which is something Gerecke’s widow said she’s tired of seeing.

Baldonado’s sentencing is scheduled for next month. He could stay behind bars until he’s 21 or get out before then.

Two of the six teens pleaded guilty to some charges, including aggravated burglary and in exchange the murder charge was dropped.

The remaining teens are awaiting trial.

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