Judge found dead alongside husband and pets in apparent murder-suicide

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

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

Deputies from the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office 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 civil servant, she previously served as 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 (Picture: Chancey Bush/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

‘This is believed to be a murder-suicide. A friend of the decedents contacted deputies after receiving a troubling 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 ‘troubling message,’ Pinkerton allegedly confessed to the murder of Albert and their pets, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

On Monday morning, sheriff’s deputies could be seen carrying more 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 cant find the words to properly honor my dear friend, the good doctor, public advocate and servant, the honorable, Her Honor—Diane Albert,’ he said in a post on Facebook.

‘We are heartsick hearing of the untimely death of Diane Albert, our elected municipal judge,’ Los Ranchos Mayor Donald Lopez stated. ‘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.’

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