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New Mexico Judge, Husband Found Dead In Home After Welfare Check

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A judge from Los Ranchos, New Mexico, was found dead in her home 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 and her husband Eric Pinkerton 63 after a concerned friend called authorities.

“Los Ranchos, New Mexico Municipal Judge Diane Albert was found inside a home on Friday in what police said appears to be a murder-suicide. When deputies arrived, the department said on Twitter, they located and confirmed two adults were dead inside the home, one of whom was 63-year-old Pinkerton,” Fox News reported.

“Los Ranchos Municipal Judge Diane Albert, 65, was also deceased along with several animals. Police said Pinkerton is believed to have shot his wife Albert and several animals before turning the gun on himself,” the outlet added.

“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 post stated. “Eric Pinkerton is believed to have shot his wife and several animals in the house before shooting himself.”

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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.”

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“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.”

A few months ago, a judge in Arkansas was recovered from a lake and was determined by police to be an accidental drowning.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that his body was found in Mud Lake in Reydell, which is just outside of Little Rock. Maj. Gary McClain said that Bueker went missing after going for a ride on a recreational vehicle. He was spending the weekend with family at a nearby cabin, McClain said.

“It appears he decided to go swimming after maybe being dusty and he went missing,” he said. “No one was with him, he was alone.”

The sheriff’s office said crews used sonar to locate Bueker’s body at the bottom of the lake Sunday morning.

Bueker was a county district judge for the northern district of Arkansas County.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office was notified and arrived at the scene a short time later, where Bueker was pronounced deceased. Bueker’s death is being investigated as an accidental drowning; however, his body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

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