Judge found dead with husband and pet in apparent murder-suicide

Municipal Judge Diane Albert was found dead after an apparent murder-suicide by her husband Eric Pinkerton (Image: Village of Los Ranchos)

A New Mexico judge was shot and killed by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide, according to local authorities.

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the scene of a shooting in the Village of Los Ranchos.

Responding officers found Judge Diane Albert, 65, her husband Eric Pinkerton, 63, several pet dogs and a cat all dead from gunshot wounds.

Albert served as a local municipal judge in Los Ranchos. A longtime public servant, she previously served as a Los Alamos County Commissioner and Planning and Zoning Commissioner for nearby North Valley, New Mexico.

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies remove ducks and other animals from the home of Judge Diane Albert in Los Ranchos, New Mexico (Photo: Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

“This is believed to be a murder-suicide. A friend of the deceased contacted deputies after receiving a disturbing message from Eric Pinkerton,” the sheriff’s office stated. “Eric Pinkerton is believed to have shot his wife and several animals in the house before shooting himself.”

In the “disturbing message”, Pinkerton allegedly confessed to the murder of Albert and their pet, The Albuquerque Journal reported.

On Monday morning, sheriff’s deputies could be seen carrying several live animals, including ducks and chickens, out of the house in cages. It is unclear where they were taken.

Many colleagues and public officials expressed shock when they heard the news of Albert’s death. New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colon said he was “speechless.”

“For some reason, I cannot find the words to honor my dear friend, the good doctor, the public advocate and the servant, the honorable, her honor – Diane Albert,” he said in a post on Facebook.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the untimely death of Diane Albert, our elected municipal judge,” said Los Ranchos Mayor Donald Lopez. “She was a longtime resident of Los Ranchos, a brilliant mind and a friend. We cannot ignore that this happened on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Our thoughts go out to her family and all those affected.’

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