Man charged with murder in Jacqueline Vigil case

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Nearly a year after the murder of Jaqueline Vigil, the prime suspect has been officially charged with murder. District Attorney Raul Torrez says they were able to build a strong case with the cooperation of a key witness, the man who says he was with Luis Talamantes-Romero when he killed Vigil.

Vigil, the mother of two New Mexico State Police officers, was killed in the driveway of her own home on Albuquerque’s westside on November 19, 2019. Police say she was sitting in her car when she was shot.

DA Torrez says Isaac Ramirez gave them the final evidence to charge Talamantes-Romero. “After having the detailed conversation, Mr. Ramirez gave an explicit, first-hand account of the murder itself,” said Torrez.

The criminal complaint identifies Ramirez as a Del Norte graduate who knew Talamantes through coworkers from Cocina Azul. Ramirez tells detectives all about the burglaries they’d committed before winding up in Vigil’s neighborhood.

Ramirez claims he told Talamantes-Romero not to rob Vigil, but that he didn’t listen. He says Talamantes-Romero confronted her as she was pulling out of her garage. Ramirez says he heard the car horn and then a gunshot.

Ramirez told authorities after the shooting the two drove off into the mesa where they got lost. In their attempt to get back on the main street, the two were forced to move some large landscaping rocks, damaging the front of the Jeep they were in.

Ramirez says they broke a tree branch to leverage the rocks out of the way but failed and ended up using the car jack. “Based on that information, based on the fact that he has no criminal history, we again decided to secure his testimony as an eyewitness to this murder in order to give this office the best opportunity to secure a conviction against Luis Talamantes for first degree murder, or felony murder,” said Torrez.

Torrez says Ramirez will not be charged in Vigil’s murder but he did plead guilty Thursday morning to multiple charges related to the burglaries. He’s facing up to seven years in prison.

Talamantes-Romero is in federal custody in Texas for immigration charges, he’s set to be sentenced for those charges in February. Once that case wraps up, he’ll be brought back to New Mexico to be tried for the murder.

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