Santa Fe, NM

The Suspect in a May Attack Faced Charges in a 1998 Shooting Death

Daniella Cressman

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Marcos Antonio Montoya—age 43—was arrested earlier this month. Police have said he committed a string of violent batteries and was once charged for murder.

In short, this man is very dangerous.

"Prosecutors have asked the court to hold Montoya without bond until the 19 charges against him — including multiple counts of battery, aggravated assault and battery on a peace officer — are resolved. A May 16 hearing on that motion was continued at the request of Montoya’s defense attorney, a spokeswoman for the Public Defender’s Office said Friday. A status hearing in the case is scheduled to take place Tuesday." —Phaedra Haywood

According to court records, it seems that this guy has been a thief—and a violent one at that—for decades.

"Online court records list a Rio Rancho address for Montoya but also indicate he may be from Santa Fe. His criminal record includes Santa Fe charges of shoplifting and robbery from 1994 and 1995, when Montoya was still a minor, and show he continued to commit crimes after that, resulting in a life spent largely in prison." —Phaedra Haywood

Police have reason to believe Montoya may have even murdered Mitchell Hanrahan in 1998, who was only 44 at the time, but there is no physical evidence to prove that.

There were also zero witnesses willing to testify against Montoya.

"Court records and reports from the time also reveal Montoya was charged with murder in 2010 in connection with the 1998 shooting death of Mitchell Hanrahan, 44, who was found dead in his apartment of South Meadows Road. The charge was dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office in April 2011, after his defense attorneys filed a number of motions contending there was no physical evidence in the case against Montoya and no witnesses willing to testify he was there...News reports from the time indicate Montoya was thought to be one of three suspects in Hanrahan’s death. Santa Fe police Deputy Chief Ben Valdez wrote in an email Friday the agency would need time to research the case before he could comment on the status of the investigation into Hanrahan’s killing." —Phaedra Haywood

Lawrence Baca—a renowned jeweler in Santa Fe, New Mexico—was viciously attacked by the criminal.

“I’m getting better day by day...But for a while, I was out. I ended up in the hospital for several days and got tons of staples and stitches, more than 20 of each, and a concussion.” —Lawrence Baca

According to Baca, the man stole a .357-caliber handgun.

"According to a police report, a female witness told police she saw a man walking on the street who was “acting suspicious.” After following at a safe distance, the witness saw Baca lying on the sidewalk outside his house and saw the suspect exit Baca’s vehicle with a gun in his hand. The suspect started hitting Baca with the gun." —Phaedra Haywood

Thankfully, Lawrence Baca has plenty of people who have stepped up to the plate during his time of need.

"Craig Allen — the owner of True West Gallery, which has carried Baca’s work since 2014 — started a GoFundMe account May 19 to raise money to help Baca in his recovery. The fund had raised $13,740 toward a $15,000 goal as of Friday." —Phaedra Haywood

The poor jeweler sustained serious injuries from the attack.

"The account says Baca 'sustained head trauma with multiple lacerations, severe concussion with prolonged loss of consciousness, and a fracture of his right eye socket,' and 'will be unable to return to his craft for an as yet undetermined length of time.' The request asks patrons of Baca’s work to donate funds for medical bills, rent and food." —Phaedra Haywood

Baca is understandably a bit shaken up from the attack, but his passion has stayed with him throughout all of his suffering, and he is simply hoping that he can get back to work as soon as possible.

He is also grateful to have survived such a traumatic ordeal.

If you would like to help the celebrated jeweler with medical bills, rent, and food, you can pitch in here.

Craig Allen will also be organizing an art and jewelry auction featuring other creatives' work in order to help Baca in July.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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