A well-respected New Mexico judge was shot dead by her husband who then turned the gun on himself, but not before he left a disturbing message for a friend, according to police.
Village of Los Ranchos Municipal Judge Diane Albert died in a suspected murder-suicide, as did some of her pets, that was allegedly carried out by her husband Eric Pinkerton, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
Albert, 65, and Pinkerton, 63, were found by officials Friday after a friend of the couple contacted authorities about receiving a “troubling message,” from Pinkerton, sheriff’s spokesperson Jayme Fuller said.
“He left a voice-mail to his friend stating that he murdered his wife and his dogs and his cat. And he is about to murder himself,” according to a dispatch pieced together by local news station KOAT-TV.
NBC News reported the sheriff’s office confirmed the dispatch.
City officials mourned her death over the weekend.
“We are heartsick hearing of the untimely death of Diane Albert, our elected municipal judge,” said Los Ranchos Mayor Donald Lopez and Village Administrator Ann Simon in a joint statement. “She was a longtime Los Ranchos resident, a brilliant legal mind, and a friend.”
Albert was also a practicing patent attorney, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
A neighbor of Albert’s, Joe Craig, told the newspaper he was shocked by her death. Craig, the president of Friends of Los Ranchos, worked on the planning and zoning commission for several years.
“Just a nice, nice lady,” he said. “I’ve never seen her with a mean bone in her body.”
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.
With Post wires
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