6/26/14 – CHEYENNE, WY. For years, I had been reading about the unusually high level of crime in New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque, and the efforts of its police department to keep a lid on it. But, only having set foot in that city once, I never thought I’d become personally involved. And, a while has passed since this incident, but myturntosoundoff.wordpress.com has decided that it should be re-visited and that I should do whatever I can to help the police bring the culprit in a murder committed there to justice – if he is still alive and free.
In the early hours of a chilly winter morning, Scott Reddy, my daughter’s fiancé was stabbed to death in the residential trailer park at 9208 Buena Ventura, N.E. Martin “Lefty” Gallegos, a resident of that trailer park, left his wife and child and went into hiding minutes after the incident. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but not until months later, and not until after . . . a bit of help from yours truly.
After discussing the matter with my daughter, I spent a week there the following July, nosing around. I had heard that the newly appointed police chief at the time, a Hispanic named Gilbert Gallegos, unrelated to Martin, I hope, claimed he was a supporter of “grass-roots law enforcement.” In fact, during a meeting with my daughter and Scott’s parents shortly after the murder, he claimed that the police had “been working hard to find the suspect.” In view of the events which followed, that seems untrue. But statements like that from authorities in Albuquerque may or may not have contributed to the current state of unrest and distrust of the police by members of minority groups in that city.
Martin “Lefty” Gallegos, a Hispanic male, approximately 5’8″ tall, 170 lbs., was 35-40 years of age on the night he killed Scott Reddy. His black hair was, at the time, being worn with a braid in back. He had lost his right arm years before, and uses a prosthetic device, which can be worn or removed at will.
After he went in the wind, Gallegos was seen at the trailer park on Buena Ventura frequently. It is thought he paid conjugal visits to his wife at least once a week, and he has been seen coming and going by neighbors. He had also been spotted frequently at the nearby Caravan Bar (is it still there?), and once at the local Home Depot. Yet, the police, who were “working hard on finding him” could not catch him.
The stabbing had been seen by several people; the couple who lived across the street from Scott Reddy, in whose trailer the men had been playing Poker and drinking before an argument ensued; a man identified only as “Harold in a Box” who lived outside that trailer in, yes, a large cardboard box, had seen it go down; and a young early-teen aged boy, who had seen it from the window of his parent’s trailer. But, the lead police detective, also a Hispanic, was not, in my opinion, aggressive in pursuit of Scott’s killer. Later, I think in conjunction with the prosecuting attorney, she labeled these witnesses “unreliable” and so the police dragged their feet on the search for Martin Gallegos.
Time passed. The chief witness, a recovering alcoholic, died, possibly of liver or kidney failure. His wife and the male child mentioned above, intimidated and threatened by Gallegos, refused to testify. “Harold in the Box” was . . . well, Harold in the Box, a down-and-out, homeless person, who was and would continue living in that condition for a time before finally rehabilitating himself, obtaining a job as a Supermarket cashier, and cleaning up his act.
Later still, Martin Gallegos was arrested on a DUI charge in the small city of Las Vegas, thirty or forty miles east of Albuquerque. But, in a colossal error not worthy of the name “police work” the cops did not check to see if there was an outstanding warrant for the arrest of Gallegos. So, they let him sleep it off overnight and released him the following morning.
Back at the time, a reward had been offered by Scott’s family. His mother has since died, and I do not know if that offer is still out there. But, if you have any information about this incident, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-505-841-9400. Or, you can communicate directly with me at my e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Reddy has been dead for a while. His murderer, for all I know, is still running loose in New Mexico; probably in Albuquerque, or perhaps in Las Vegas, where he has relatives, or maybe even in Santa Fe, where it is rumored he has been seen. If he is still alive. If he has not been arrested, tried and convicted of some other crime, and incarcerated.
I’ll be working to find out more, and I hope there is someone out there who can help bring this murderer to justice.
A wise man once said, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” He was right.
NOTE: Regarding former Chief of Police Gilbert Gallegos, mentioned herein, in an article written in 2013 about the departure of Ray Schultz from the job of Chief, I found this and I offer it without comment: ” He was brought in as a reformer. A former Albuquerque police officer who then-Mayor Marty Chavez lured back from Scottsdale, Ariz, to clean up a police department rocked by low morale, scandal, and intense media scrutiny. . . . Things were so bad, officers gleefully honked their horns across the city in 2005 as news spread of the sudden resignation of the unpopular police chief, Gilbert Gallegos . . . “