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

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

A New Mexico judge 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 public servant, she previously served as Los Alamos County Commissioner and Planning and Zoning Commissioner for the nearby North Valley, New Mexico.

Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies remove ducks and other animals from Judge Diane Albert’s home 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 said. “Eric Pinkerton allegedly shot his wife and several animals in the house before shooting each other.”

In the “disturbing 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 transporting more live animals, including ducks and chickens, out of the home in cages. It is not known where they were taken.

Many colleagues and officials expressed their 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 properly honor my dear friend, good doctor, public advocate and servant, the Honorable Her Honor Diane Albert,” he said in a Facebook post.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the untimely passing of Diane Albert, our elected municipal judge,” Los Ranchos Mayor Donald Lopez said. “She was a lifelong 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 hearts go out to his family and everyone involved.

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