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Doctor: Man not ‘his usual self’ during crime spree

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ryan Archibeque’s behavior in the two weeks surrounding the shooting death of Steven Gerecke was “an anomaly,” according to a psychologist.

Ryan Archibeque

Ryan Archibeque

Testifying in state District Court Tuesday in the second portion of a hearing to determine whether Archibeque, 19, should be sentenced as an adult or a child, Dr. Barry Fields said the teen has “basically been a well-functioning individual for most of his life.” But he’d fallen into depression after moving in with his father, and that’s when he started drinking heavily and hanging out with the group of teens who would eventually become his co-defendants in a murder case.

Archibeque and five others have since been convicted of crimes surrounding Gerecke’s murder. Archibeque pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated burglary, credit card theft and conspiracy. Police said the group was committing property crimes when the beloved Albuquerque bartender confronted them in his driveway and was shot to death in June 2015.

“There was this whole two-week period in which he was not his usual self,” Fields said. “And he did a lot of things he had not done before, and has not done since.”

Fields, the only defense witness, said Archibeque is amenable to treatment. Two prosecution witnesses who took the stand at his first hearing in February agreed.

“All three of them have said he’s amenable,” defense attorney Shelby Bradley said in closing statements. “Dr. Fields goes a step further by saying Ryan is the most amenable to treatment he’s ever met.”

Fields testified that Archibeque has a stable family, a group of friends who are working and living respectable lives, and is dedicated to his education. He said all of those factors indicate decreased risk of recidivism.

Prosecutor Larissa Callaway argued in closing statements that the community cannot be certain he won’t reoffend.

“When he finds himself maybe in a difficult relationship or in a stressful moment, based on how he’s conducted himself in the past, are we reasonably assured it won’t happen again?” she asked. “I say, no.”

Judge Brett Loveless said he will issue a written ruling as to Archibeque’s amenability at a later date. If Loveless finds Archibeque is amenable to treatment and should be sentenced as a juvenile, he would remain under the court’s jurisdiction only until age 21. If he is found not amenable, he faces up to 15 years in prison.