Acquitted killer facing new charge

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By Martin Salazar

The man acquitted last year for a fatal road rage incident was arrested again late last month in Albuquerque for allegedly shooting at a reckless driver.

Richard Baca, 24, a New Mexico Army National Guard sergeant, was arrested and charged with a single count of shooting at a vehicle, a felony. He posted bond and was released.

The latest incident occurred shortly before 3 a.m. on Sept. 29, online court records reveal.

According to published reports, Baca told police the driver of another car was speeding, that he took out a stop sign and almost crashed into a crowd. Baca reportedly told authorities that’s when he drew his gun and tried to pull the car over, and when that didn’t work he tried to shoot out its tires.

Baca is the same man who was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter  in September of last year for shooting and killing a man in 2009.

According to testimony at the trial, Benito Lemos, 22,  the man Baca killed, was a passenger in a vehicle that Baca almost hit, and that incident apparently resulted in a confrontation at 12th and National.

At his trial, Baca testified that while he was stopped at a red light at the intersection, Lemos got out of the vehicle he was in and approach his car. Baca testified that Lemos told him off and then started punching him in the face.

Baca testified that he told Lemos to stop, and when he didn’t, Baca pulled out his gun and shot Lemos three times.