Woman charged with murder

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A Los Lunas woman faces murder charges in the stabbing death of her 45-year-old ex-boyfriend last Thursday night.

Tammylynn Sanchez-Tafoya: Charged with murder

Tammylynn Sanchez-Tafoya, 49, is charged with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

During her first appearance in court Friday, Los Lunas Magistrate John “Buddy” Sanchez ordered she be held without bond at the Valencia County Detention Center.

Sanchez-Tafoya told police she stabbed her ex-boyfriend, Keith Miller, of El Cerro, in the neck after an argument. According to a criminal complaint, Sanchez-Tafoya told investigators that she and Miller were involved in a physical relationship, which ended about three months ago.

Court documents state that she told police she had been arguing with Miller over the phone since about noon that day.

“She said she felt ‘hate’ for Keith,” the complaint said. “She had agreed to meet with him at a motel to discuss matters further.”

Knowing Miller regularly carried a knife, Sanchez-Tafoya told police she saw him from about two blocks away, but didn’t try to run away or call for help. She told police when she approached Miller, on the 500 block of Camino Del Rey Drive in Los Lunas, he told her, “We’re going to take care of this right now,” to which she replied, “Let’s do this. I’m sick of this bull (expletive) already.”

“I was told by Tammy that both Tammy and Keith struck at each other with their knives,” Los Lunas Police Detective Santiago Beyal wrote in the criminal complaint. “Tammy demonstrated striking the left side of Keith’s neck area with the knife. Immediately afterwards, Tammy said she ran from the scene, and at no point did she attempt to seek help for Keith (or) report the assault.”

Los Lunas Police Detective Carl Padilla said Sanchez-Tafoya didn’t sustain any injuries during the incident. Miller received one puncture wound to the base of his throat, he said.

Sanchez-Tafoya told the detective after the incident, she went home, where she rinsed the blood from her knife, and then told her mother she had “stabbed Keith.” The complaint said she then gave her daughter money to buy food and fell asleep in her bedroom until police awoke her.

During questioning by police, the woman drew a picture of the knife she used to stab Miller — a double-edged blade.

“Tammy said society would be better off without Keith,” Beyal wrote in the criminal complaint.

It was just after 7 p.m. on Aug. 8 when police responded to Camino Del Rey Drive about a man on the ground bleeding. When officers arrived, they administered first aid and requested emergency medical personnel. Medics quickly took over treatment, and Miller was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where he died soon after arrival.

“After the incident, the suspect fled to a nearby residence, located at 1973 Camino Del Rey Court, the suspect’s mother’s residence,” said Los Lunas Police Chief Roy Melnick. “A search warrant was executed … and evidence of the crime was seized …”

Police also found a folding pocket knife with a black handle and a cell phone on the ground where Miller had been found.

When officers went to Sanchez-Tafoya’s mother’s home, they spoke with the defendant’s daughter, who, according to the complaint, told officers she had knocked on the bedroom door to ask her mother if she wanted food. The daughter said her mother replied, “Keith, I stabbed him. It was self-defense.”

This is the first homicide of the year in the village of Los Lunas.


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