On Monday, he entered into a change of plea hearing admitting to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and to assault with the intent to commit a felony.
This comes more than a year after Albuquerque police found 16-year-old Josue Ruiz dead in the alley behind Lindy’s Diner on March 4, 2022. At the time, investigators said Baldonado had beef with Ruiz, who was dating his sister. They were set to fight in the alley when gunshots rang out. Originally, Baldonado was arrested for the murder. However, on Monday in court, he admitted to his involvement but not the murder itself. Recent witness reports have placed Baldonado’s mother, Elizabeth Ortiz-Chavez, at the scene of the crime accusing her of pulling the trigger.
Later on, Baldonado reportedly told police he was set up by his mother for the crime. In his change of plea hearing, Baldonado was given the opportunity to address the courtroom but declined. Ruiz’s family said this is part of a chapter they can finally close, saying they hope Baldonado will learn from his actions.
Baldonado has since been transported back to the Bernalillo County Youth Detention Center, where he will serve out his sentence until the age of 21.
Ortiz-Chavez is now facing a murder charge. She has a hearing scheduled in February.
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