Man convicted in 2010 bank robbery

CNJ STAFF
A Tucumcari man who has spent three years in jail awaiting his day in court was found guilty Tuesday of a pair of charges from a 2010 Melrose bank robbery.
A Curry County jury deliberated for about 80 minutes before finding Marcos Maestas, 23, guilty of armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Jurors found Maestas not guilty of an additional charge of tampering with evidence.
Maestas faces a maximum of 12 years — nine for the robbery charge, and an additional three for the conspiracy charge — but defense attorney Jennifer Burrill noted that Maestas will receive credit for the three years he has spent in custody since the robbery awaiting trial.
A date for sentencing has not been issued.
“There are going to be significant issues with sentencing,” Burrill said, based on determinations that Maestas was mentally retarded. Burrill had previously filed for a dismissal based on violating her client’s right to a speedy trial, but the request was not granted.
Representatives for the prosecution could not be reached for comment.
In April of 2010, Maestas, Patrick Quintana, Juana Griego and Santos Preciado, all of Tucumcari, were arrested following a robbery at American Heritage Bank in Melrose. All three of Maestas’ accomplices in the robbery pleaded guilty, and have been incarcerated.
Burrill said that during the trial, Quintana testified on behalf of Maestas and said his only role in the robbery was to stand at the door with a baseball bat and keep people from entering — accomplished with a handwritten, misspelled note written on the back of a Spider-Man comic book.
Burrill said there’s no determination on the next step at this point, but she sees reason to appeal based on many factors, including competency instructions not given to the jury.