ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — James Finch did not want to beat and stab his parents, he told police. But he had to.
After police found him covered in blood wearing only socks hiding underneath a glass table on the back porch of his parents’ Northeast Albuquerque home, he told them three masked men had picked him up at a local homeless shelter, put a gun in his mouth and told him to knife his parents to death.
Police believe Finch smashed the window to his childhood bedroom at his parents two-car-garage home on Grove NE early in the morning Aug. 24 and stabbed his father, David Finch, to death. He critically wounded his mother, Kathy Finch. He has been charged with murder, along with other crimes, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court this weekend.
The violence is something the Finch parents had worried would happen.
James Finch had dropped out of high school and was diagnosed with oppositional defiance disorder and attention deficit disorder. He had told officers he thought he was schizophrenic, according to police reports.
His parents tried to get him into treatment programs – a neighbor said he smokes methamphetamine – but his behavior slowly escalated over the years.
His parents asked him to leave and filed restraining orders against him after they said he battered them, according to court records.
James Finch was let out of jail Aug. 20 on time served in a different incident. When the Finches found out, they had a security company install a bedroom door and a dead bolt because they were afraid of him. And they told neighbors to keep an eye out for James, according to the complaint.
The security measures apparently didn’t help.
Two police officers arrived at the couple’s home shortly after 5 a.m. Aug. 24 and saw Kathy Finch just inside the front door, lying face up in a pool of blood and calling for help, the complaint said. She told one of the officers that “my son did this” and identified her attacker as “James,” the complaint said.
Kathy Finch had improved from critical to serious condition more than a week ago, but hospital officials didn’t immediately release her updated condition Monday.
The responding officer found Kathy’s husband, David Finch, 60, lying dead nearby in the entryway of the couple’s home in the 1200 block of Grove NE, the complaint said. A blood-covered knife with a bent 7-inch blade was found on the floor beside David Finch’s body.
Their master bedroom was covered in blood, and a shower was running in a hallway bathroom.
As the officers entered the rear door of the house, they saw a naked man, later identified as James Finch, covered in blood and hiding under a table on the back porch, the complaint said.
Finch told officers “they are trying to kill my parents,” “please don’t leave me,” and “I don’t want to die” at the time he surrendered to police, the complaint said.
James Finch later told a police officer that three men wearing masks had picked him up at a homeless shelter, drove to the Finch’s home, and ordered Finch to kill his parents, the complaint said. There were no signs of anyone else in the neighborhood, police said.
James Finch was charged Saturday in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court with an open count of murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and aggravated burglary in the attack. He was booked into jail on a $500,000 cash only bond, jail records show.