New Mexico judge killed along with pets in apparent murder-suicide

New Mexico Judge Murder Suicide
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies remove ducks and other animals from a home in Los Ranchos, where village municipal Judge Diane Albert and several pets were killed by her husband in what authorities said was a murder-suicide, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. Chancey Bush/AP

New Mexico judge killed along with pets in apparent murder-suicide

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A New Mexico judge appears to have been fatally shot along with several of her pets by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide, according to authorities.

Village of Los Ranchos Municipal Judge Diane Albert, 65, was found dead in her home on Friday after a friend of her husband, Eric Pinkerton, 63, told police he had received a “troubling” message, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Facebook post.

Pinkerton was found dead as well, apparently by his own hand, along with several dead animals that had been shot. A BCSO dispatch, obtained by KOAT-TV, revealed that Pinkerton had told a friend of his actions and plans to kill himself in a voicemail.

“He left a voicemail to his friend stating that he murdered his wife and his dogs and his cat. And he is about to murder himself,” the dispatch said.

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Albert was a highly respected member of the community, being a charitable activist along with her duties, leading to widespread shock and grief over her death.

“We are heartsick hearing of the untimely death of Diane Albert, our elected municipal judge,” Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Mayor Don Lopez wrote in a news release, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. “She was a longtime Los Ranchos resident, a brilliant mind, and a friend. We can’t ignore that this happened on the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. Our thoughts go out to her family and all those affected.”

“So many thoughts, but so few words,” state auditor Brian Colon wrote on Facebook. “I turned down the station that wanted me to go to camera to speak about Diane. Just couldn’t do it. Diane always entered our home with a smile and usually wearing her bicycle helmet. What a loss.”

Albert was elected as a municipal judge in 2021, holding the position alongside her private law practice specializing in patent law and intellectual property. She was also active in several community initiatives, including managing, along with her husband, a nonprofit group called Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico, which aimed to “increase the number of bicyclists in New Mexico by promoting cycling, providing education, and advocating for the rights of cyclists in our communities,” its website reads.

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She also worked on initiatives helping young children develop math and science skills, for which she won several local awards.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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