2020 Oñate protest shooter walks free with suspended sentence
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The man who pleaded guilty to attacking two women at a 2020 Juan de Oñate statue protest and unlawfully carrying a deadly weapon went in front of a judge Wednesday for his sentencing.
It’s been three years since Albuquerque police arrested Steven Ray Baca for shooting a protestor in the groin. However, the charges tied to that shooting got dropped as part of a plea deal.
That deal was made earlier this summer, and Baca was facing up to two years in prison.
At his hearing Wednesday, Baca ended up getting a suspended sentence of two years, minus one day – meaning he won’t be going to prison unless he violates the terms of his parole.
During the sentencing, both of the women that Baca attacked said they don’t believe prison time is the answer. Instead, they urged the judge to order Baca to attend anger management and gun safety classes – a request that Judge Brett Loveless followed through on.
Other elements of his parole include not consuming drugs or alcohol and no contact with the victims. Instead of ordering gun safety classes, Judge Loveless banned Baca from owning a gun.