ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A sweat-covered Larry Hoffland woke up around 1 a.m. next to his 54-year-old wife on April 22.
By his own account to Albuquerque police, he then walked downstairs and let out the couple’s little dog, Lola, before he pulled a knife from a butcher block, proceeded back upstairs and stabbed his spouse of 28 years, Geraldine Hoffland, to death as she slept.
“(I) lost my mind,” he later told police, according to information in the criminal complaint filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.
That’s the only explanation he has provided about the “odd” attack, said Albuquerque Police Department spokesman officer Simon Drobik.
Larry Hoffland, 53, on Tuesday made his initial court appearance on an open count of murder in connection with his wife’s April 22 death.
Police said after stabbing his wife, Larry Hoffland tried to kill himself.
He stabbed himself twice and put the knife in a bathroom sink before he jumped off a second-floor ledge inside the home, according to police. After that attempt failed, police said he crawled back upstairs to try to jump a second time but didn’t have the strength.
Both the Hofflands worked for Southwest Airlines for more than 30 years, and Larry Hoffland had recently retired.
Their employer called police early that morning after Geraldine failed to show up for work.
Police arrived at the home on the 11000 block of Persimmon NE at 5:30 a.m. but no one answered the door or phone. At 6 a.m., investigators said they heard a man moaning, so they forced their way in and found Larry Hoffland upstairs.
Geraldine Hoffland lay on the bedroom floor covered in blood with multiple stab wounds to her stomach and chest, according to the complaint. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I took a kitchen knife to her,” Larry Hoffland allegedly told police when they asked how she was injured. Police said he also said “my wife’s in the bedroom, I did it” and “I’m guilty,” according to the complaint.
Hoffland, who had been at the hospital, is now being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center’s infirmary.
He was in a wheelchair when he made his first appearance in court Tuesday. A public defender said Larry Hoffland had no criminal history and asked for a $10,000 cash or surety bond.
Metro Court Judge Edward Benavidez set the bond at $100,000 cash only, citing the nature of the charges.
Judi Sinks, a neighbor, told the Journal earlier that she had known the couple for 18 years. Larry Hoffland was social and she was friends with Geraldine Hoffland, who she said was beautiful. She said they had two children and many grandchildren.
Relatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
“It’s such a shock,” Sinks previously said. “They were both so well-liked. We’d sit around and converse, and they just became really sweet, dear, good friends. This situation is just a total shock to anyone who knew them.”
Journal staff writers Nicole Perez and Patrick Lohmann contributed to this report.