The two young women charged with his murder both had run-ins with the juvenile court system. It’s not clear that either had graduated high school.
The suspects, ages 20 and 18, were caught after being stopped by State Police following a high-speed chase in Valencia County on Friday evening. A third suspect in the car, a 16-year-old girl from Gallup, has been charged with conspiracy.
Maurice Gonzales, 51, who was stabbed to death on Friday about 10 a.m. in his home in the Northeast Heights, worked as a probation and parole officer with the New Mexico Corrections Department from August 1991 until April 2000, according to Alex Tomlin, spokeswoman for the Department.
Court records indicate that, in February 2000, a few months before he left the Corrections Department, Gonzales was charged with breaking and entering, abuse of a child and attempted criminal sexual contact of a minor. He pleaded no contest to the breaking and entering charge later that year, and was placed on one year of unsupervised probation and given a conditional discharge, according to court records.
He was charged with aggravated DWI on Christmas Eve of 2004 and, three years later, with making a false police report because he called police and told them that his car was stolen from the parking lot of TD’s nightclub, court documents show. He was picked up on another drunken driving charge in July 2009, according to court records. The disposition of those charges wasn’t immediately clear Monday.
On April 20 of this year, he was charged with two counts of aggravated assault. Court records show that a woman he used to live with had come by with two friends to pick up some of her belongings because Gonzales had texted her to say that he was dumping them on the porch. When she got there, she didn’t see her things, so she climbed over his fence, only to find Gonzales coming out of the house with a large black-handled knife, waving it and threatening her, according to a criminal complaint. When she tried to climb back over the fence with the help of a friend, Gonzales struck both the woman and her friend with the knife, court documents show.
— May 6, 2013: Women offered man sex before killing him, stuffing body in trunk
— May 5, 2013: Victim, 3 females in relationship
— May 3, 2013: Body found after high speed chase
How Gonzales ended up inviting his alleged attackers — 20-year-old Ashlee Gurule and 18-year-old Jennifer McKee — to his apartment less than two weeks later remains a mystery. On a residential block near the intersection of Juan Tabo and Copper, his apartment was quiet Monday, the only apparent disturbance being a plastic chair overturned in his front yard.
The two women charged with his murder had previous run-ins with the law.
Gurule was a student at New Futures, a high school in Albuquerque for pregnant and parenting teens, until May 2010, according to Rigo Chavez, a spokesman for Albuquerque Public Schools. A month after she left that school, Gurule was charged with two counts of abandonment or abuse of a child in juvenile court. She was sentenced to six months of probation, court records show.
Gurule was also charged in February 2010 and again November 2011 with shoplifting of $250 or less, but both cases were dismissed.
Jennifer McKee, 18, who is listed in one court record as “homeless” and another as living on the 5500 block of Estrillita Del Norte NE, faced a number of juvenile charges as well, including possession of an ounce or less of marijuana and concealing her identity in May 2010, shoplifting in September 2010 and criminal damage to property in September 2011. All the charges were dismissed.
McKee attended school in Albuquerque until May 2010, when she was a ninth-grader at Rio Grande High School, according to Chavez.
A third girl, 16-year-old Julia Martinez, who allegedly joined the girls after the stabbing and sat in the back seat of Gonzales’ car as they allegedly sought a place to dump the body, has been charged as a conspirator to the murder.