LOS LUNAS, NM (KRQE) – Opening statements began on Monday in the trial for the mother of a 15-year-old murder suspect.
Loretta Villalobos is charged with child abuse resulting in death for not keeping a closer eye on her son, who is accused of killing 12-year-old Alex Madrid.
“He loved to ride his bike. He loved hanging out with his other siblings,” Roxanne Madrid said of her son, Alex.
Nearly three years ago, Alex went to hang out with friend Brandon Villalobos.
His family never saw Alex again.
“I came all the way from Albuquerque over here to try to find my son because I was worried for him,” Roxanne said.
Brandon, 15, was arrested for beating Alex to death in Meadow Lake, and Brandon’s mother, Loretta, is now on trial for child abuse resulting in death for not supervising her son or getting him help.
Brandon was a special needs student at Los Lunas High with a history of fighting at school, skipping school and vandalizing property—all things a criminal complaint says his mother knew about and did nothing to stop.
Loretta says she is not guilty, telling investigators in an interview after the murder that she’s not at fault for her son’s decision and that she had tried to stop him from getting into trouble, but he didn’t listen.
In court in Los Lunas, Alex’s aunt was the first and only witness to take the stand on Monday, according to his family.
“She just explained everything that happened on that day and it was just really sad, remembering everything and my son not being here,” Roxanne said.
Alex’s aunt called 911 after going to pick him up at Brandon’s house and finding that no one seemed to know where he was.
Brandon’s mom told investigators she assumed Alex had gone home.
“I hope that we get justice,” Roxanne said.
The trial could wrap up by the end of the week.
A judge is still trying to determine if Brandon is competent to stand trial for Alex’s murder.
At a hearing last month, a judge required the teen to seek treatment first, which could take up to nine months.