An Albuquerque man is accused of beating his girlfriend – with a belt, broom and his fists – so severely last weekend that doctors had to remove half the woman’s skull to save her life, but they are unsure whether she will recover.
Mark Guerro, 46, was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Wednesday and charged with attempted murder in a May 5 attack on his girlfriend, 36-year-old Judith Apache, at a South Valley apartment.
Deputies say this is not the first time. In June 2018, Apache was hospitalized with a brain bleed after a fight with Guerro on the tribal lands of To’hajiilee. She still had staples and a tube in her head from that incident.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, deputies responded to an overdose call around midnight Sunday at an apartment in the 2600 block of Isleta SW, near Blake. They found Apache unconscious on the ground with “nearly her entire body” covered in purple and black bruises.
Guerro initially told deputies the couple had drank several pints of vodka and, after Apache fell asleep, he could not wake her. When asked about Apache’s bruises, he told them she had “been falling a lot recently.”
Deputies say that doctors at the University of New Mexico Hospital had to remove half of Apache’s skull to relieve pressure due to a brain bleed and she “could die at any time.” To sustain such bruising across her body, doctors said Apache would have to “fall from a mountain or some decent height.”
The nurse on duty told deputies she remembered Guerro and Apache from June 2018, when Apache was admitted for a brain bleed to the left side of her head. At that time, Guerro told doctors she “had fallen and hit her head on the tub.”
Deputies say Apache’s sister told them the 2018 incident happened on the reservation, and Navajo Police did not make a report or do any follow up investigation. The sister was granted full custody of the couple’s young daughter “due to violence in the relationship.”
Guerro told deputies that Saturday night he started spanking her with a belt repeatedly. When Apache got angry, Guerro said, he hit her and “doesn’t remember how many times” but it probably resulted in her head hitting the concrete.
Deputies say Guerro told them he also sodomized Apache with a broomstick at some point before “he began to cry and said he didn’t mean to do it.”