Homicide on Pueblo Drive

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By Carol A. Clark

A woman was shot at least twice in the chest early Monday evening inside her Denver Steel home at 3459 Pueblo Drive. Los Alamos firefighters transported Robin Markham to Los Alamos Medical Center shortly after 6 p.m. where she was pronounced dead.

Police arrested the woman’s husband, Jack Markham, 55, at the home, according to documents filed in First District Court. He is charged with an open count of murder, which if convicted, could result in the death penalty.

“On the surface this looks like a single tragedy in that a woman was shot and killed,” LAPD Capt. Randy Foster said. “But the truth is this incident is tragic and has a profound impact on multiple people – family members, neighbors and friends, the dispatchers who took the call, the police who responded to the scene, the firefighters who came to render aid and for hospital personnel.”

According to court documents, a call was placed to 911 dispatch at 6:02 p.m. from a man who identified himself as Jack Markham. He told the dispatcher he shot his wife with a 9mm handgun. He admitted the couple had been having problems and that his wife had moved out of the home a week and a half ago, according to court reports.

The couple began talking again and he stated that his wife came to the house and they ended up having sex Monday, according to the court report.

Both Markham and his wife were naked and lying on the bedroom floor when police arrived at the house, according to the report.

An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted on the woman’s body today.

This is the first homicide in Los Alamos County since a murder suicide Feb. 28, 1994.

Domestic violence penalties are evolving across the country and in New Mexico. HB227 passed the House 66-0, the Senate 36-3 and was signed by Gov. Bill Richardson.

Richardson also increased penalties for domestic violence, which went into effect July 1.

SB 68 makes the third conviction of battery against a household member or aggravated battery against a household member a 4th-degree felony. A 4th-degree felony calls for up to 18 months imprisonment and can include up to $5,000 in fines.

The fourth or subsequent conviction of battery against a household member or aggravated battery against a household member is now be a 3rd-degree felony. A 3rd-degree felony calls for up to three years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

HB 33 amends the Domestic Violence Treatment Fund to allow for payment of treatment of persons referred for treatment by a judge, domestic violence commissioner, parole board or those who voluntarily submit to treatment. The change is in effort to be more consistent with the type of services currently being provided for batterers statewide.

HB 227 Domestic Abuse Procedure Changes entitles victims of sexual assault and stalking the same protections afforded to victims of domestic violence and ensures that victim information is protected. It amends the Family Violence Protection Act to clarify that New Mexico does not charge victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking for court costs related to prosecuting offenders.

As of July 1, courts will not be permitted to arbitrarily issue mutual orders of protection, and law enforcement must investigate fully to properly identify the predominant aggressor.

The New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NMCADV) provides assistance and educational services to the public. The nonprofit organization can make referrals to a statewide network of agencies and individuals that offer services for domestic violence related matters. For referral information, call (505) 246-9240.

NMCADV also maintains a lending library of books, videos, posters, and audio cassettes/CD's on a wide range of topics and issues concerning domestic violence. Spanish language materials are also available. For information, e-mail info@nmcadv.org or access www.nmcadv.org.

For additional information, call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.