CHAMA, N.M. (KRQE) – A mother is filing a wrongful death lawsuit – saying a Rio Arriba deputy could have prevented the murder of her son back in 2020. The deputy actually drove the suspect to the murder scene. 

On November 21, 2020, Al Howery, 29, was stabbed to death outside of a Speedway gas station in Chama, New Mexico as he waited for his wife to finish her shift. His mother Jennifer Myrick shared, “my daughter-in-law in the store thought she heard his voice so she ran outside and called his name. He and Jonathan stood up. Jonathan still had the knife up. She hollered to the officer in the store for self-help. He’s killing my husband.”

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Before the murder, a Rio Arriba sheriff’s deputy found the suspect, Jonathan Barlow, on the side of the road. He took a bowie knife away from him and dropped Barlow off at the Speedway gas station. When he did he gave Barlow the knife back. The knife was the same weapon Barlow is accused of using to kill Howery.  Myrick saw the surveillance video of her son being killed.

Now Howery’s family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Jonathan Barlow, the Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Office and the deputy involved. The lawsuit is claiming negligence against the deputy since he dropped him off at the gas station with a deadly weapon. 

In New Mexico it’s illegal to conceal carry bowie knives but it’s unclear whether Barlow had his knife hidden or not. Howery’s mother worries about the future of her grandchildren. “Al Jamar has three children. I am retired due to disability compounded by more mental health issues because of this murder. Somebody has to take care of them kids”

Myrick says her family will never be the same after Howery was killed. “Al loved a lot of things but his favorite thing was his kids and his mama. Al was a mama’s boy to the end but his kids was like his whole world,” she said.

Barlow is awaiting trial for Howery’s murder in November. KRQE reached out to the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s office about the lawsuit; a spokesperson declined to comment on ongoing litigation.