Suspect in woman's fatal shooting stays in jail - Albuquerque Journal

Suspect in woman’s fatal shooting stays in jail

Luis Talamantes-Romero, in custody at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center, listens during his pretrial detention hearing on Tuesday. He is charged with first-degree murder in the 2019 killing of an Albuquerque woman. (Source: 2nd Judicial District Court)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The man accused of shooting Jacqueline Vigil outside of her West Side home in 2019 will await trial behind bars.

Prosecutors allege Luis Talamantes-Romero, 33, fatally shot Vigil once in the head as she attempted to back her car out of her garage while she was heading to the gym on Nov. 19, 2019.

Judge Britt Baca-Miller agreed with the prosecution’s argument that Talamantes-Romero poses a danger to the public and could attempt to flee if released pending trial.

“The facts in the underlying matter are basically anyone’s nightmare in Albuquerque,” Baca-Miller said Tuesday. The allegations suggest Talamantes-Romero didn’t know the woman he is accused of killing, she said.

Deputy District Attorney John Duran said Talamantes-Romero has “an extensive violent criminal history” that includes 2010 convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm.

If released pending trial, “there is a strong probability that he would flee to Mexico as indicated by that criminal history,” Duran said.

A 2nd Judicial District Court grand jury indicted Talamantes-Romero in June on a charge of first-degree murder in Vigil’s death. The jury also indicted him on two counts of aggravated burglary, attempted armed robbery, tampering, conspiracy and other charges.

Talamantes-Romero remained in federal custody in Texas from January 2020 until his transfer last month to the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center.

In the days after Vigil’s killing, Talamantes-Romero fled to San Antonio, Texas, where officials arrested him on federal immigration charges.

A Mexican national, Talamantes-Romero pleaded guilty last year to charges of illegal reentry to the U.S. He has yet to be sentenced on those charges.

Kathleen Rhinehart, Talamantes-Romero’s attorney, said she had expected her client to remain in federal custody pending trial and expressed concern for his safety in MDC in the event that witnesses in the case are detained there.

Baca-Miller asked Rhinehart and Duran to discuss options for detaining Talamantes-Romero if it appears his safety is in jeopardy at MDC.


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