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Mentally ill man accused in mother’s 2007 death released from custody

Justin Quintana (KVIA)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The mentally ill man who was charged with killing his mother, a New Mexico State Police officer, in 2007 was released from the custody of the New Mexico Department of Health on Sunday, his mother’s widower told the Journal.

Patrick Kuchma said the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Doña Ana County told him Monday that Justin Quintana had been released to a halfway home in Albuquerque. Quintana was charged with shooting and killing his mother, Susan Kuchma, in Las Cruces in December 2007.

In August, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity and remanded into the custody of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute at Las Vegas for treatment or until he is no longer dangerous, according the online court records.

The case involving Quintana made headlines recently when the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General said it opposed his release from the institute.

Paul Rhien, a NMDOH spokesman, said he could not comment on the case or Quintana.

“Patient privacy laws, including HIPAA, prohibit the Department from commenting about the healthcare provided to a patient – including details of their release,” Rhien wrote in an email.

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