May 14—Early Wednesday morning, a man living in a West Side neighborhood answered the door to find a 9-year-old girl, bloodied, saying something was wrong with her mother.
The man told police he and his wife went to the family's house next door.
That's where they found the girl's mother, 41-year-old Sara Gallegos, had been stabbed to death in her bedroom.
Sara Gallegos's 16-year-old son, Michael Gallegos, was still at the scene, disoriented. Police say he had been seen naked and bloody, although he didn't have any injuries, and court documents suggest he may have been on LSD. He told detectives he had no memory of what happened.
He has been charged with an open count of murder and booked into the juvenile detention center.
Michael Gallegos has been appointed an attorney, according to the Law Offices of the Public Defender.
"This child's legal team is coming together to determine the next best steps," said spokeswoman Maggie Shepard.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, Albuquerque Police Department officers were called to the 9500 block of Sun Dancer NW, near Unser and Paradise, shortly after 1 a.m. because neighbors had heard a woman screaming.
When police arrived, they found Michael Gallegos with the next-door neighbor, who told them he had called into the house through an open garage door until the teenager exited. His wife, meanwhile, was in the house with Sara Gallegos.
"Michael initially did not respond to police instructions and was described as appearing to be under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drug and was heard speaking incoherently, repeatedly stating 'something bad' and 'death' and indicated that he was under the influence of the drug 'LSD,' " the detective wrote in the complaint.
Michael Gallegos was handcuffed and put in a police car.
Officers entered the house and found the next-door neighbor's wife in the master bedroom trying in vain to revive Sara Gallegos. She had been stabbed several times all over her body and neck.
Blood splatter was on the walls and bed, and a 12-inch knife was found in the master bathroom, according to the complaint. Officers also found "a drug bong and multiple medical marijuana bottles" in Michael Gallegos' room.
Michael Gallegos was taken to police headquarters, and his grandmother was called in as well.
According to the complaint, when detectives interviewed the teenager he said he could not remember anything from the previous night. He said he was playing video games around 11 p.m. and he could not remember anything until "he woke up in a police car" around 1:30 a.m.
"Upon the conclusion of our conversation, I told Michael his mother was deceased and he replied, 'oh well,'" the detective wrote in the complaint. "I next told Michael he was going to be booked for homicide and Michael replied 'okay.'"
Then, the detective wrote, Michael Gallegos was left alone in the interview room, secured to the table. He said Michael Gallegos "punched himself in the head with his right hand" and then officers secured his hands behind his back.
The Journal could not reach family members Wednesday, but Sara Gallegos' Facebook page shows multiple pictures of Michael Gallegos and his little sister, smiling and posing, through the years.
Sara Gallegos had filed for divorce from their father in 2015 and neighbors said she was raising the two children as a single mother.