New Mexico v. Baca (Published Opinion)Annotate this Case
The State charged Defendant Manuel Baca with an open count of murder by criminal complaint. The district court found by clear and convincing evidence that Defendant committed first-degree murder and determined that he was dangerous, but not competent to stand trial. The district court ordered Defendant detained by the New Mexico Department of Health (Department) pursuant to NMSA 1978, Section 31-9- 1.5(D) (1999). Defendant appealed that order, contesting the sufficiency of the evidence. Although Defendant had not been convicted of first-degree murder, Defendant still faced a lifetime detention. The New Mexico Supreme Court determined sufficient evidence supported Defendant's criminal commitment for life, thus affirming the district court's order.