ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, police say, Albert Gene Miller called 911 to say he had killed his wife.
When officers arrived at his home, on the 8600 block of Silk Tassel, in a neighborhood near the Petroglyph National Monument, they found his wife, 53-year-old Yvette Montoya, lying on the floor by the front door, covered in blood.
She had been beaten to death, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
Miller, who had blood on his clothes, was taken to the Lovelace Hospital because he said he was having “seizure issues.”
He was booked into the county jail Sunday night and is charged with murder.
When detectives interviewed 59-year-old Miller, he told them that the previous night he had taken his epilepsy medication and smoked medical marijuana in the garage. He said he went back into the house and sat on the couch with his small dog in his lap.
Miller said the dog started licking his mouth and was “sucking his breath out of him,” so he began yelling for Montoya, saying, “Yvette, I love you, you’re my life.”
“Eventually, the yelling woke Yvette up and she came into the living room where Gene was seated on the couch,” the detective wrote in the complaint. “Yvette sat on the arm rest next to Gene. Gene stated that for some reason he began to punch Yvette in the face with a closed fist.”
Miller told detectives Montoya told him to stop punching her and to call the police. He said she grabbed her phone and headed for the door, but he followed her and continued to hit her until she fell to the ground.
Miller then said he grabbed a large statue by the door and beat her until she appeared to be dead and no longer had a pulse, according to the complaint. He grabbed some jackets and covered her up so her chest wouldn’t be exposed and called his brother to tell him what happened.
On Monday, about a dozen family members gathered in front of Montoya’s house to pay their respects. Her brothers told the Journal she was a member of the Apache tribe and they were going to perform a traditional ceremony. They asked for privacy.