Man accused in 2017 carjacking, fatal crash case arrested after head-on crash

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A 20-year old man who had a role in a carjacking and fatal crash is now accused of causing another serious car crash.

New Mexico State Police arrested Matthew Nieto Friday after Nieto allegedly crashed a sedan head-on into an SUV, then tried to run from the scene.

The crash happened just before noon at the intersection of Eubank and Lomas. According to a criminal complaint, Nieto was first noticed by an NMSP officer on I40 west near the Juan Tabo exit.

According to the complaint, the officer’s patrol car was parked on the shoulder with emergency lights on when Nieto’s car passed the parked NMSP car in “close proximity,” then switched lanes and eventually exited on Eubank.

Nieto allegedly crashed the car shortly after he turned on to Eubank, losing control of the vehicle at the intersection of Lomas and hitting a silver Toyota FJ Cruiser. According to the criminal complaint, the officer saw Nieto get out of the driver’s seat and run north on Eubank, toward a vehicle emissions testing garage.

Nieto was stopped in that nearby parking lot and arrested. He remained in MDC Saturday night on a no bond hold, accused of violating probation.

Nieto was one of three people involved in a carjacking that lead to a deadly crash at Eubank and Menaul in 2017. In August 2019, District Court Judge Cindy Leos sentenced Nieto to supervised probation for his role in the crash. Nieto did not receive any jail time as a result of the sentence.

“Once I was released from MDC, I set my mind to be a successful member of our community,” Nieto said in his August 2019 sentencing hearing. “I am truly sorry for my actions.”

“I can tell that this is impacting you, and I’m glad to see that it’s impacting you,” Judge Cindy Leos said to Nieto in the August 2019 sentencing hearing.

Shortly after that sentencing, Nieto was arrested, accused of choking his girlfriend. District Court Judge Michael Martinez eventually sentenced Nieto to continued probation in October 2019 for the arrest.

“Please don’t come back here,” Judge Martinez said.

The latest crash at Eubank and Lomas is a near assurance that Nieto will be back facing a judge.

New Mexico State Police say Nieto wasn’t seriously hurt in the crash, but it’s unclear if anyone else was.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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