New Mexico

Judge grants bond for alleged hit-and-run driver accused of killing teenager

State wanted suspect held in jail until his trial

Vehicular homicide hearing in Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Judge Douglas R. Driggers on Tuesday did not accept the State of New Mexico's request to hold Oscar Anchondo, the alleged hit-and-run driver accused of killing a teenager, behind bars pending trial.

Driggers, instead, decided to release Anchondo to his mother, the third party custodian, on a $5,000 bond.  The state prosecutor argued Anchondo is "an absolute danger to society and the community who has had numerous encounters with law enforcement and believes the laws do not apply to him."

When the judge decided to release Anchondo on bond, the prosecution asked for a secured $200,000 bond. The judge, instead, set bond at $5,000.

Under the conditions of his release, Anchondo will not be able to drive any motor vehicles, consume alcohol or drugs, and must avoid all contact with witnesses who may testify against him. 

The state asked for an 8 p.m. curfew and the judge instead set a 10 p.m. curfew.  Anchondo will not be able to leave his home on the 200 block of Vargas Street without adult supervision. 

IF YOU MISSED THE DETENTION HEARING, YOU CAN WATCH THE REPLAY BELOW:

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

The man charged in connection to a deadly hit-and-run Wednesday in Berino allegedly told investigators he "was coming off a high" after consuming meth two days before the wreck.

Oscar Anchondo, 21, is facing a slew of charges, including Vehicular Homicide, Tampering with Evidence, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, driving without a license and driving without liability inurance. ABC-7 has learned Anchondo was charged with Vehicular Homicide in 2017, a charge later dismissed. 

Anchondo is in court Tuesday for his first court appearance. He is jailed without bond and is expected to learn whether he will be able to bond out of jail pending trial. 

Detectives with the Doña Ana County Sheriff's identified the boy allegedly killed by Anchondo as 16-year-old Adalberto Romero.

Investigators said Romero was attempting to get into the driver’s seat of his family's Chevrolet Cobalt just after 8 a.m. on Aero Lane when an SUV, allegedly driven by Anchondo, hit Romero’s car.  The crash caused Romero to be thrown into the roadway where he was then hit by Anchondo, investigators said.

According to sheriff's deputies, the boy was getting into his family's car to drive to school. After the hit-and-run, first responders transported the boy via ambulance to University Medical Center in El Paso, where he died before noon.

Initially, the crash was part of a suspected road rage incident, but after further investigation, deputies say they believe Anchondo attempted to run a second vehicle off the road on Stern Drive.

The driver of that second vehicle, identified in court documents as Jacob Gonzalez, told detectives he was driving north on Stern Drive when he noticed a light brown SUV driving on the wrong side of the road and heading straight for him. Gonzalez said he had to swerve in order to avoid the SUV.

A criminal complaint states Gonzalez, suspecting the driver of the SUV was driving drunk, decided to turn around and follow the SUV while calling 911. Gonzalez allegedly witnessed the SUV crash into the Cobalt, which was parked by the side of the road. The court document states Gonzalez observed the driver of the SUV dragging a boy as the SUV continued west on Aero Lane. Gonzalez said the driver of the SUV then reversed, stopped and continued north on Pico Lane. 

Gonzalez followed the SUV to a residence at 2017 Vargas Street. Gonzalez told investigators Anchondo was the only occupant in the SUV.  A woman who allegedly witnessed Anchondo fleeing the scene of the wreck also told police Anchondo was the sole occupant of the SUV.

The criminal complaint document further states Gonzalez observed Anchondo and a woman, identified in court documents as Anchondo's mother, pushing Anchondo's SUV  towards the back of the mobile home at 207 Vargas Street.

When police arrived at the home on Vargas Street, an investigator asked the woman about the owner of the SUV in the back of the property. The woman pointed at Anchondo, the court document states.  The investigator asked Anchondo if he is the owner of the SUV and Anchondo said yes, the document states.  When police searched the vehicle, they allegedly noticed damage to the front hood and grill, in addition to an open beer container in the vehicle's console, the criminal complaint states.

Anchondo's mother, identified in court documents as Alma Gloria Anchondo, allegedly told investigators that when her son arrived at her home, she "saw there was smoke coming from the vehicle" and she grabbed the water hose.

The mother allegedly told police Anchondo was crying and scared. When she asked him what was wrong, Anchondo allegedly told her he had crashed. She noticed Anchondo pushing the vehicle to the back, so she decided to help him, the document states.

Anchondo allegedly told the investigator he fell asleep at the wheel and hit a car, but did not remember striking a kid. The investigator allegedly noticed Anchondo "was slow to respond."  The criminal complaint states that when Anchondo was checked by medics, Anchondo told one of the medics he had consumed "meth" the night before.

Once in custody and under interrogation, Anchondo allegedly told detectives he was doing meth two days before the morning of the crash and "was coming off his high." 

When asked what caused him to crash into the Cobalt, Anchondo allegedly replied, "because of the drugs."

Anchondo allegedly told investigators he drove the SUV to his mother's home because he feared it would be taken away by investigators. He said he planned to return to the scene of the hit-and-run to meet with investigators. 

2017 VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CASE

Online court records obtained by ABC-7 reveal Anchondo was charged with Vehicular Homicide-Reckless Driving in August 2017. That charge was in connection to the wreck that killed Victor Chavez, a passenger in Anchondo's vehicle, court documents state. 

"Defendant fled the scene. Evidence at the scene included numerous alcoholic beverages and it was later discovered the Defendant did not have a valid driver's license," a police report states, "Witnesses describe Defendant's manner of driving as reckless and at a high rate of speed. One witness said the Defendant almost struck her head on right before he crashed."

At the time, Anchondo was also charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Great Harm or Death, Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road; and for driving without a license and insurance. 

The same police report states Anchondo denied he was driving the vehicle involved in the wreck that killed Chavez. Those charges were eventually dismissed in August 2018.  

 


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