An Albuquerque woman who fatally stabbed her wife was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison after pleading no contest to second-degree murder in the 2019 killing of 41-year-old Esperanza Ramirez.
Tammy Mae Montoya, 48, wept during the remote hearing as members of her wife’s family described the impact of Ramirez’s Nov. 15, 2019, death.
Ramirez was found stabbed twice in the chest by her father, Eddie Ramirez, in a bedroom of his home in the 900 block of Vesuvius NW, near Ladera and Arroyo Vista.
Esperanza Ramirez was the “mother figure” of the household who always kept track of birthdays and watched out for other members of the family, her father told 2nd Judicial District Judge Lucy Solimon.
“She did not deserve to die the way she did that morning,” Eddie Ramirez said of his daughter. “Tammy (Montoya) came out of that room like nothing had happened.” Montoya walked outside and smoked a cigarette, he said. “And the whole time my daughter was dead in that room.”
Esperanza was found covered in blankets with a knife beside her, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. Medical investigators found that she been stabbed twice in the heart.
Albuquerque police detectives found blood in the bathroom sink and bathtub and on clothing left in a shower, the complaint said.
Montoya, who attended the hearing remotely from the Metropolitan Detention Center, chose not to speak at her sentencing. She lowered her head and wiped her eyes repeatedly as Eddie Ramirez and others spoke at the hearing.
The couple had been married about three years and shared a room in Eddie Ramirez’s home, the complaint said.
Eddie Ramirez said at the hearing that he found his daughter’s body in her room after he received a text message from his daughter’s phone that said, “Dad, I can’t take it anymore.” Ramirez said believes Montoya sent him the message several hours after Esperanza’s death.
“That just wasn’t Esperanza’s character at all,” Ramirez said of the text message.