Judge dismisses charges against teen accused in a deadly joyride

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico family is outraged after a judge dismissed charges against a teen accused in a deadly joyride.

Matthew Jaramillo was just 14-years-old in 2016 when investigators say he stole an SUV, picked up a prostitute on Central Avenue, and ran over 46-year-old Richard Sisneros.

The family says the past three years have been absolutely devastating, and they believe Jaramillo was given a break he didn’t deserve.

“My father was our biggest protector. Growing up he always supported us and told us to speak our minds,” says Iris Sisneros.

Now, Richard Sisneros’ family is doing just that.

“I don’t want to see another family go through this. You should not be able to murder for someone the way my brother lost his life. No family should go through that,” says Holly Cruz.

Back in 2016, prosecutors say Matthew Jaramillo stole a car, picked up a prostitute, and hit and killed Sisneros. Friday, Judge John Romero dismissed the case.

“I think for us, it’s kind of a slap in the face that this juvenile is out free and he gets to hug his family, and we’ll never see my father again, we’ll never hug him or hear his voice,” Iris Sisneros says.

At a competency hearing Thursday, a clinical psychologist told the judge that Jaramillo is not capable of participating in his own defense.

“He was highly anxious, hyperactive, impulsive. Behavior was extremely inappropriate, had qualities of mood disorders,” says Dr. Christine Johnson.

The family says they’ve been going to these types hearings for three years and it feels like a never-ending cycle.

“It’s like our wounds get bigger every time we go because nothing is being done, and it brings up that feeling of losing our father,” says Iris Sisneros.

But Thursday, Judge Romero agreed with the psychologist and ruled Jaramillo incompetent to stand trial. The Sisneros family believes he is just trying to avoid prosecution.

The state can re-file the charges and the Sisneros family hopes they do.

“Not having him around is hard for us every day. I wish I could just hug him one more time,” says Iris Sisneros.

The District Attorney’s office didn’t comment on the judge’s ruling. They say prosecutors are in the process of considering refiling charges.

KRQE News 13 reached out the Judge Romero’s office to ask him why he dismissed the case but didn’t hear back.

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