ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been more than three years since an Albuquerque teen was arrested for taking a deadly joyride in a stolen SUV — but his murder case has still not gone to trial, and the judge is quickly losing patience.
Monday was the latest in a series of hearings to determine if Matthew Jaramillo is competent to stand trial. The judge says the next hearing will be the last chance.
“If we don’t do anything by the 360th-day review, and there’s still no agreement on competency, I believe I will be left with little choice but to dismiss,” Judge John Romero said.
Matthew Jaramillo was just 14 years old in 2016 when investigators say he stole an SUV, picked up a prostitute on Central, and drove to an apartment complex parking lot. When 46-year-old Richard Sisneros told him he couldn’t park there, Jaramillo is accused of ramming Sisneros with the car and dragging him down the street.
Both the judge and the victim’s family have expressed frustration at repeated setbacks in getting Jaramillo treatment and psychiatric evaluations. Monday, prosecutors fired back at the defense’s suggestion, that the state has been dragging its feet.
“He will be an adult very soon, and he will be an adult who has not had the therapeutic treatment he has been calling for since the day of his arrest,” defense attorneys said.
“They have always sought treatment for him, they have never stopped seeking treatment. They got to a point where they said, ‘We don’t know what else to do, give us some advice,'” prosecutors replied.
Judge Romero ruled if the two sides cannot come to an agreement about Jaramillo’s competency by Sep. 5, he’ll dismiss the charges with prejudice, meaning they can never be refiled.
The defense also called for Jaramillo to be released to family in Iowa, arguing he could receive better treatment outside of custody. Judge Romero also put off a ruling on that request.
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