New Mexico judge, pets killed by husband in murder-suicide, authorities say

Diane Albert, 63, was a municipal court judge for the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

An elected New Mexico judge and her pets were shot and killed by her husband on Friday before he turned the gun on himself, authorities said. 

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said deputies found the deceased couple along with "several dead animals" inside their home in Los Ranchos De Albuquerque.

"This is believed to be a Murder-suicide," the sheriff’s office tweeted Saturday. "A friend of the decedents contacted deputies after receiving a troubling message from Eric Pinkerton."

"Eric Pinkerton is believed to have shot his wife and several animals in the house before shooting himself," the sheriff’s office said. "The decedents have been confirmed as: Diane Albert- 65 and Eric Pinkerton- 63."

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Diane Albert, a municipal court judge for the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque.

Diane Albert, a municipal court judge for the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. (Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque)

KOAT, a local ABC News affiliate, said it reviewed the sheriff’s office dispatch tapes from the incident, and someone on dispatch 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."

Police caution tape at a crime scene.

Police caution tape at a crime scene. (iStock)

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Albert was a municipal court judge for the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, KOAT reported.

A Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy blocks the dirt road that leads to a home where detectives on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, were investigating the deaths of five people who were shot to death south of Albuquerque, N.M.

A Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy blocks the dirt road that leads to a home where detectives on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, were investigating the deaths of five people who were shot to death south of Albuquerque, N.M. (The Associated Press)

"We are heartsick hearing the news of this senseless tragedy," Los Ranchos Administrator Ann Simon told the Albuquerque Journal on Saturday. "Diane Albert, our elected municipal judge, 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."

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BCSO told the Journal that there had been no domestic violence reports or calls from Albert’s home since at least 2019 and older data wasn’t available.