Police: Son kills father during argument

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A 23-year-old Las Maravillas man was arrested and charged with an open count of murder early New Year’s Day morning after Valencia County sheriff’s deputies said he killed his father during an altercation.

According to a police report, Michael Wrobel got into a physical altercation with his father, Henry Wrobel, over the family’s dog and negative comments directed to the victim’s girlfriend at the residence on Juniper Avenue.

Michael Wrobel Charged with an open count of murder

Wrobel told Valencia County sheriff’s deputies he was arguing with his father earlier that evening because the family’s German shepherd knocked him down and caused him to drop a bottle of wine, the report said.

Wrobel told deputies he began cussing at the dog and was confronted shortly after by his father. He said his father attacked him in the den area of the residence and punched him in the face and tried to strangle him.

He said he pushed his father “with enough force that he fell on his back and did not move,” the report said.

Henry Wrobel, 56, was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where he was pronounced dead about 2:30 a.m.

The criminal complaint, filed in Los Lunas Magistrate Court, said the two men had been drinking at the residence the day prior.

The complaint said at some point, the younger Wrobel told his father he shouldn’t make negative comments about his girlfriend’s former spouse.

Henry Wrobel reportedly had made a comment to her that concerned the former spouse’s death. Eventually, Henry Wrobel apologized to the woman, the complaint said.

The girlfriend told deputies she was awakened by Michael Wrobel asking her to help him with his father, who he said had fallen down. She administered CPR until medical personnel arrived.

When medical personnel arrived, Henry Wrobel’s left eye was protruding from its socket and he had a “massive amount” of bruising on his neck.

The girlfriend’s 15-year-old son told deputies he heard the verbal argument and that “things in the home calmed down,” and the two men were talking about music at some point.

Later that night, the boy heard arguing and turned up his music before he heard glass breaking.

In an interview with deputies, Michael Wrobel said he got into a verbal argument with his father over the comments he made to his girlfriend. He said his father struck him twice in the face with a closed fist.

When he attempted to hit him a third time, Michael Wrobel said he pushed his father’s arm away and then pushed him.

He said he thought his father was joking when he hit the floor and didn’t get up, according to the criminal complaint.

The girlfriend of the man told deputies Michael Wrobel had a bad temper and said he is bi-polar and not on his medication. She told deputies that he had been institutionalized for several years in Illinois.

He also had recently been transported to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, she said, according to the complaint.

Michael Wrobel is being held at the Valencia County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

The cause of death has not yet been determined.

“We aren’t going to make a determination on the cause of death until (the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator) gives us the determination,” said Valencia County Sheriff Louis Burkhard.

The investigation is ongoing.


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.