Man sentenced to 15 years for fatally shooting man in 2017

December 19, 2019 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a New Mexico man to 15 years in prison for the death of a man during an armed robbery.

District Judge Cristina Jaramillo has sentenced 32-year-old Matthew Joe on Wednesday in the death of 36-year-old Jaime Dimas in July 2017.

Joe pleaded guilty in October to murder, attempted armed robbery and shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, authorities said.

Joe was attempting to rob a man on a bicycle who escaped into a nearby restaurant before he opened fire, authorities said. Joe fatally shot Dimas when he tried to intervene by throwing rocks, authorities said.

Joe was accidently released from county jail in May 2017 due to an employee typo last year, officials said.

Joe was arrested on murder charges months later by U.S. marshals at his mother’s home in Thoreau, officials said.

Joe said in court that he cannot change what happened but that he is “deeply sorry” for taking Dimas’ life.