ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man accused of shooting and killing the owner of a popular Albuquerque pizza parlor was out of jail on probation when the murder happened. On Monday, Sylvan Alcachupas appeared before a judge on that probation.

Twenty-seven-year-old Sylvan Alcachupas appeared in court for violating his probation. In January, Alcachupas plead guilty to robbing a Los Lunas Speedway at gunpoint in August 2020. Fast forward to last month when Alcachupas is accused of robbing Giovanni’s Pizzeria in southeast Albquuerque then shooting and killing owner Rosario Zito.

City leaders said he should have been held behind bars. “This particular issue has its own background and history, but part of it is someone who probably should not have been on the streets at that time with a gun,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.


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It wasn’t until Monday when District Court Judge Cindy Mercer ruled that Alcachupas be held behind bars for violating his probation. “Court notes that Mr. Alcachupas has two separate allegations of violating his conditions of probation. He also has picked up serious charges while out on probation, so the court is going to hold him on a no bond hold,” Mercer said.

However, that decision doesn’t do much now because he’s already being held behind bars for the murder. While the plea deal in the gas station robbery was struck with the Valencia County’s District Attorney’s Office, the Bernalillo County Da’s office previously said his probation, in that case, should have been revoked when he was picked up in August by state police.

Alcachupas was allegedly found driving a stolen car with heroin in it. He was released on bond in that case. “The stolen car case that came to us should have triggered a probation revocation process because he was already a convicted felon in a different district,” said Adolfo Mendez, Chief of Policy and Planning with the Bernalillo County DA’s office.

Judge Mercer will hold a probation violation trial on Oct. 12. Alcachupas is now facing additional charges for the pizzeria murder. He was originally charged with murder, robbery, and tampering with evidence. Now he’s facing eight additional charges, including conspiracy, felon in possession of a firearm, shooting at or from a vehicle, and three aggravated assault charges.