ALAMOSA — Referring to his extensive criminal history, District Judge Michael Gonzales sentenced Joseph Bailon, 39, to 21 years in prison on felony escape, menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender charges.
An aggravated robbery case in Rio Grande County was dismissed as part of Bailon’s plea agreement, as was an Alamosa County case in which he was accused of stabbing a family member.
The menacing charge related to another family gathering where Bailon threatened to shoot everyone in the house, Assistant District Attorney Ashley McCuaig explained to the judge. The escape charge related to Bailon’s walking away from Community Corrections while serving a sentence there.
The judge said he was sentencing Bailon to prison because of his horrible record and because he posed a danger to this community.
McCuaig said Bailon had seven prior felony convictions and multiple cases of burglary, robbery and theft. This was also Bailon’s fourth escape charge, he added. His actions while on escape status included holding a knife on someone, stabbing another person and threatening to kill his entire family, McCuaig told the judge.
“This community is not safe if he is in it,” McCuaig said. He recommended a 30-year sentence to the Department of Corrections.
Bailon’s attorney, Deputy State Public Defender James Valenti, said Bailon had had problems with meth and heroin since age 15 and attributed his client’s criminal history to his drug addiction. He said Bailon had been institutionalized since he was a juvenile and had not had the opportunity to receive the treatment for his addiction that he needed during that time.
Judge Gonzales said Bailon’s family had been there for him and supported him and shown love for him, and he didn’t understand how Bailon could treat them the way he did threatening to kill them. He added that although the robbery charge had been dismissed, it still raised a concern for him, as it also involved a weapon, this time a knife. The judge said he had to take the community’s and Bailon’s family’s safety into account in sentencing Bailon. The judge pointed to Bailon’s history that ranged from assault to escape, with this latest escape being his fourth one. “I have never seen that before,” the judge said.
Judge Gonzales said the only course he could take in sentencing was to send Bailon to the Department of Corrections.
“I hope you wake up before it’s too late,” he told him.