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APD: Man reported girlfriend’s murder as suicide

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Detectives this week arrested a man who is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself last month in Albuquerque.

Police arrested Justin Harwood in Northeast Albuquerque on Wednesday afternoon. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Detectives arrested a man who is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself last month in northeast Albuquerque.

Justin Harwood, 34, is charged with murder and tampering with evidence in the March 11 death of 36-year-old Jeannie Castillo, also known as Genie. He was booked into jail Wednesday.

Police allege that Harwood shot Castillo, cleaned up the scene, then tried to commit suicide. When officers arrived, he told them Castillo shot him, then herself.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, officers responded to the shooting around 4 p.m. at an apartment in the 400 block of Texas NE, near Copper and Wyoming. They found Harwood outside the apartment, shot in the neck and covered in blood.

Justin Harwood

Police say they found Castillo shot in the head, completely naked, on the bathroom floor with a gun beside her. She died at a hospital.

Harwood couldn’t speak due to his injuries and, through writing, told police the couple were fighting when Castillo put a gun under his chin and he told her “to pull the trigger.”

Police say Harwood told them he ran out of the apartment after Castillo shot him and heard another gunshot. Investigators found the scene to be suspicious and not matching Harwood’s statements, including how Castillo was shot and numerous bruises to her body.

Castillo’s family told police the two had a “rocky relationship,” with multiple domestic violence incidents with Harwood as the aggressor. The family said that Castillo never talked about or attempted suicide and that she was very close to her 11-year-old son.

Police say someone had cleaned up bloody footprints around the apartment and blood in the bathroom.

When a detective revisited Harwood in the hospital, he told them he wouldn’t speak to them without an attorney.

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