The husband left a "troubling voicemail" before killing himself.
Trigger warning: This article mentions death by suicide and gun violence which some readers may find distressing.
In New Mexico, a municipal judge appears to have been shot to death by her husband before he killed himself. At their residence in the Village of Los Ranchos on Friday, Bernalillo County sheriff's officers, via NBC discovered the deaths of Diane Albert, 65, and Eric Pinkerton, 63, as well as many dogs and a cat, as reported by the sheriff's spokeswoman Jayme Fuller. According to her, Pinkerton shot and murdered everyone before dying by suicide. In their home on Ranchitos Road in Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, police discovered the bodies of Diane Albert, 65, and Eric Pinkerton, 63, along with "several dead animals" on Friday after a friend of the couple received "a troubling message from Eric Pinkerton," the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) tweeted.
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. https://t.co/d5cA7ERdZk— BCSO (Sheriff) NM (@BCSONM) November 26, 2022
The BCSO reported that there haven't been any calls or allegations of domestic violence coming from Albert's house since at least 2019, and earlier data isn't available. Fuller claimed that before 4 pm on Friday, a friend of the couple contacted BCSO after receiving a troubling message from Pinkerton. She claimed that Pinkerton stated in the message that he had shot his wife and pets and planned to kill himself. The couple was discovered dead inside the house by responding deputies. Pinkerton is thought to have killed his wife and a number of pets inside the home before killing himself, as reported by the Journal. Joe Craig, president of Friends of Los Ranchos via Journal, said he was appalled by the news. Craig claimed he had heard the marriage have problems but had never noticed anything particularly obvious.
I am shocked and heartbroken by the senseless shooting death of Diane Albert, Municipal Judge for Los Ranchos, NM, former Los Alamos Co. Councilor and an accomplished & beloved individual. My thoughts are with her many friends, her family and the entire community of Los Ranchos.— Lt. Governor Howie Morales (@LtGovMorales) November 27, 2022
In the Los Ranchos Municipal Court, Albert served as a judge. According to the Albuquerque Journal, she was a practicing patent lawyer who had previously held office as the president of the Bike Coalition of New Mexico, a planning and zoning commissioner for the North Valley region, and a commissioner for the county of Los Alamos. She had recently re-enrolled at the University of New Mexico to study French, a friend of Albert's revealed to the newspaper. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by a university spokesman. Albert's passing was lamented by the community. In a tribute posted on Facebook, state auditor Brian Colón stated: "Diane always entered our home with a smile and usually wearing her bicycle helmet."
In Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court a month prior, Craig last saw her. They had arranged to meet for coffee, but it never happened. When Albert wasn't riding her bike, she drove an old Subaru and was very "down to earth." Craig said Albert was admired. He claimed that the couple had settled into a home on Ranchitos, close to his own, where Albert looked after chickens, ducks, and their four pug dogs. He added that the house was in a bad condition when they bought it, but they had rebuilt the whole thing. Friday saw a lot of law enforcement activity on the site. As detectives searched the neighborhood, BCSO cars blocked the home's access route. Several cages with ducks, hens, and other animals were being carried out of the house by deputies.
Cover Image Source: Diane E. Albert Municipal Judge/ losranchosnm.gov