ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man is behind bars after police say he ran over his girlfriend — killing her — in front of her children during a fight Friday evening in a neighborhood off East Central.
Robert Mentz, 29, is charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily harm or death in the killing of 30-year-old Brandi Garcia.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:
Officers responded around 7 p.m. to a domestic dispute and possible crash in the 12800 block of Dorado SE, near Central and Tramway. Police found Garcia’s body in the street and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mentz’s mother, who called 911, said her son and Garcia both called her telling her to come over because the couple was fighting. The mother said she found the couple at a neighbor’s house where Mentz was arguing with Garcia’s father.
The mother told police everyone left in separate vehicles and, soon after, she drove up on Garcia’s children “running around” her body in the road. She said Mentz called and asked her to pick him up and he told her “I don’t know what happened, I blacked out” when he got in the car.
Police pulled the mother over and Mentz tried to hide in the trunk but was detained soon after. Garcia’s father told police he went to pick up Garcia and her children when Mentz showed up.
The father said a fight ensued and he pulled out a stun gun and Mentz swung a knife at him. The father told police they all left but they ran into Mentz in the neighborhood and he crashed into the father’s vehicle.
The father said Garcia got out of the vehicle and began yelling at Mentz, who grabbed her by the hair and and began driving. The father told police he jumped onto Mentz’s vehicle and started hitting it with a stick.
The father said Garcia fell off the vehicle and Mentz began hitting parked vehicles to try to get free, telling him “there is going to be two dead bodies on this street tonight.” The father told police he fell off the vehicle and went back to find his daughter’s body surrounded by her children.
Mentz told police he and Garcia got into an argument and she left their home on foot with her children. He said he went looking for Garcia and found her being picked up by her dad at a neighbors home.
Mentz told police the dad pulled out a stun gun and he pulled out a knife but eventually told Garcia to go get her things from their home and “get out.” After they left, Mentz said he found them again and crashed into their vehicle.
Mentz told police Garcia got out of the vehicle and began hitting him before her dad joined in with a stick. Mentz said he grabbed Garcia’s hair and began driving “20-30 miles per hour” before slamming on the brakes.
Mentz said at that point Garcia wasn’t on his vehicle anymore but her dad was so he started hitting parked vehicles trying to get him off. After Garcia’s dad fell off the vehicle Mentz drove home and called his mother to pick him up.
Mentz told police he didn’t intentionally run over Garcia and thought she died from hitting her head.