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Murder suspect to be resentenced

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By David Giuliani

A teenager convicted in the murder of another was sent to prison in October, but that sentence no longer holds.

Eloy Trujillo, 18, was sentenced to 7-1/2 years in state prison for the April 2006 killing of 18-year-old Anthony Maes during an alleyway fight near Robertson High School. Trujillo recently was transported from state prison to the county jail.

In a state Court of Appeals decision just two weeks before Trujillo’s hearing, a judge found that a district court must hold two hearings — one to determine whether a minor is amenable to adult penalties and the other for the actual sentencing. The decision also required a Corrections Department diagnostic evaluation before the sentencing hearing.

Because that decision was so recent, advisories hadn’t been sent to judges and attorneys. Defense attorney Joe Romero brought the decision to the attention of District Judge Abigail Aragon.

Santa Fe-based District Attorney Henry Valdez, who is prosecuting the case, said Aragon ruled that another amenability hearing wasn’t needed because she had already made her decision that Trujillo needed adult penalties. But she decided to hold another sentencing hearing.

Valdez, whose recommendation was a 7-1/2-year prison sentence before, said he likely wouldn’t change his request.

“I haven’t read the Corrections report yet. I don’t anticipate the report will change my recommendation,” he said.

He said he hopes the sentencing hearing is soon, before Romero leaves for an overseas National Guard assignment in early January.

Romero said nobody knew about the Court of Appeals ruling beforehand, but it requires a resentencing. “There’s no way around it,” he said.

In the October hearing, Romero argued that Trujillo should get juvenile penalties, describing his client as a “tall skinny kid with braces” who never bothered anyone before the shooting. However, Valdez called the killing premeditated in nature and argued that Trujillo deserved an adult sentence. Romero responded that it wasn’t premeditated because the gun wasn’t loaded; he said Maes bullied Trujillo constantly.

Valdez said this week the bullying defense doesn’t hold, saying the two had gotten into a fight a year before and Trujillo had prevailed.

“There clearly was a history,” he said.

In October, Aragon went with the state’s recommendation, saying that Trujillo clearly made adult decision and as such, deserved adult penalties.