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US Judge Found Dead Along Husband

New Mexico Judge Allegedly Killed in Murder-Suicide

A judge from Los Ranchos, New Mexico, was found dead in her home on Friday in what investigators say appears to be a murder-suicide.

A welfare check was requested at the home of Los Ranchos Municipal Judge Diane Albert, 65, and her husband Eric Pinkerton, 63, after a friend of Pinkerton reported a troubling message.

It is currently unknown what the content of the message said; however, when deputies with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office arrived, they found both adults dead inside the home, the department said on Twitter.

Along with the two adults, several animals were also found dead at the scene. Pinkerton is believed to have shot Albert as well as the animals, before turning the gun on himself, police say.

“This is believed to be a Murder-suicide. A friend of the decedents contacted deputies after receiving a troubling message from Eric Pinkerton. Upon arrival deputies located the decedents inside the residence along with several dead animals,” The posts read. “Eric Pinkerton is believed to have shot his wife and several animals in the house before shooting himself.”

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has not provided further information on the apparent murder-suicide.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that Albert was a municipal judge for the Village of Los Ranchos, former Los Alamos County commissioner, former planning and zoning commissioner for the North Valley community, and former president of the Bike Coalition of New Mexico. She was also a practicing patent attorney.

“We are heartsick hearing the news of this senseless tragedy,” Los Ranchos Administrator Ann Simon said 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.”

Many in the area took to social media to mourn Albert’s apparent murder.

New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón posted, “Diane Albert … my friend for decades … a kindhearted soul who always uplifted me and others … she’s gone. I’m in shock,” beside a crying emoji.

The Friends of Los Ranchos Facebook page posted “God Bless you, Judge Diane Albert.” One comment described Albert as “such a good person, a close friend, sharp as a tack, generous, a lover of animals … I could go on. Miserable and tragic.”

“This is awful. Just a nice, nice lady, and, as far as I know, he was OK,” said Joe Craig, president of Friends of Los Ranchos. “And to shoot Diane? I’ve never seen her with a mean bone in her body.”

Craig said Albert was admired, adding that “she sort of epitomized what we want in Los Ranchos – a farm girl out of Ohio who goes to get a Ph.D. in metallurgy out of Carnegie Mellon.”

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