ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Criminal charges have been dropped in the case against an Albuquerque mother and daughter after a judge found several issues with probable cause. In March 2022, Gloria Montoya and her mother Debbie Montoya were arrested at a South Valley home after Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies accused the duo of burglary and child abuse charges.
According to a criminal complaint, the Montoyas were accused of breaking into a home that was left unoccupied after the homeowner died. Deputies also accused the duo of leaving Gloria’s baby alone in a car. Body camera video shows a deputy found drug paraphernalia and weapons in the car.
In a recent court hearing, Metro Court Judge Nina Safier dismissed the entire case against Debbie Montoya with prejudice. The ruling means prosecutors cannot refile charges against Debbie Montoya for the March 2022 case.
One day after Judge Safier’s ruling, on May 12, prosecutors with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to dismiss the same case and all associated criminal charges against Gloria Montoya. According to the filing, in the case against Debbie Montoya, Judge Safier said, “‘there was no proof of [Debbie Montoya’s] intent to commit a theft.'”
The prosecution’s filing also contends that “Judge Safier did not find probable cause that child abuse occurred because the State could not show how long the child was left inside the vehicle.” Because the case against Debbie Montoya was dismissed with prejudice, prosecutors say the case against Gloria Montoya “generated from the same facts and criminal complaint; therefore, could not have garnered a probable cause finding, which moved the State to dismiss.”