Villalobos' mom charged with abuse

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The mother of a teenager charged with the murder of a 12-year-old boy has been arrested on charges that she didn't do enough to prevent her son's actions.

Loretta Villalobos, 38, mother of 15-year-old Brandon Villalobos, is charged with first-degree child abuse and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both fourth-degree felonies.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Loretta Villalobos Tuesday after a warrant was issued for her arrest. Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Don Derrick said because she was the primary caregiver to Brandon, she knew that he was dangerous, thus the child abuse charge.

"She was the one who was taking care of him, and she knew what his mental capacity was," Derrick said. "She knew his temperament. We even have 911 calls from her saying that her son was scaring her."

Brandon Villalobos was indicted by a grand jury earlier this year on one count of first-degree murder and one count of tampering with evidence. Thirteenth Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez filed a notice of intent to invoke adult sanctions against Villalobos, who is charged with killing 12-year-old Alex Madrid in Meadow Lake in February.

If Brandon Villalobos is convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, Martinez said. If, however, he is convicted and is determined to be amenable to treatment, a judge could sentence him as a juvenile, which would mean he would be incarcerated until the age of 21.

Madrid's body was found on Feb. 18 after relatives reported him missing. During their investigation, Villalobos took sheriff's detectives to where Madrid was, lying underneath a discarded mattress.

According to a criminal complaint filed against Loretta Villalobos, she told deputies that on the night of the alleged homicide, Brandon and Madrid had went for a walk to go vandalize abandoned mobile homes. Sheriff's deputies charged her with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor because she knew the two boys have consistently vandalized property.

"Loretta stated it was known to her and common for Brandon and Alex to vandalize abandoned mobile home," the complaint says.

After Madrid had been reported missing, Brandon Villalobos told detectives, "You want the truth; I only hit (Madrid) once." He said that after playing video games for the majority of the day, the two decided to go for a walk.

"As they were walking, Brandon stated that he and Alex were engaged in a verbal argument over Alex talking about Brandon's daughter. Brandon stated Alex attempted to stab him with a yellow handled screwdriver and Brandon defended himself, striking Alex on the left side of his face near his eye."

According to the affidavit, after Madrid fell to the ground, the 15-year-old picked him up, placed him under the mattress and covered up his body.

In the criminal complaint against Loretta Villalobos, she told sheriff's detectives that her son "was never at school, due to the fact that he was always being picked on by other students." She also said that it was very hard to convince Brandon to go to school.

"She stated Brandon was the type of kid that you could not push around," the criminal complaint said. "If Brandon said no or didn't not want to do what was asked of him, he refused. Loretta (said) she has learned over time if her son refused to listen to her it was easier to just leave him alone and let him do what he wanted."

The complaint also said that Loretta Villalobos admitted that her son would "act up, breaking and destroying property," and that he was both physically and verbally aggressive toward her, his father and his siblings.

She also admitted to detectives that her son needed to be supervised at all times due to his violent tendencies. When asked by detectives if she felt she failed to supervise her son on the day of Madrid's death, she responded by saying she did not feel she was at fault for her son's decision.

Loretta Villalobos is being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond in the Valencia County Detention Center.


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