Mother faces charges in boy’s death

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Loretta Villalobos, the mother of a teenager charged with killing his 12-year-old friend earlier this year, has been indicted by a Valencia County grand jury on charges she contributed to the boy’s death.
The 38-year-old Meadow Lake woman was indicted last week on one count of negligent child abuse resulting in death, a first-degree felony; and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, one count for her son, Brandon, and another for Alex Madrid, who police say was killed by the younger Villalobos on Feb. 17.
Earlier this year, Brandon Villalobos, 15, was indicted on one count of first-degree murder and one count of tampering with evidence in the death of the 12-year-old boy.
According to the indictment handed down against Loretta Villalobos, she, “ … without justification, caused Alex (Madrid) … to be placed in a situation that may have endangered his life or health … (and) negligently supervised Brandon (Villalobos), which resulted in the death of Alex (Madrid).”
Valencia County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Don Derrick said because Loretta Villalobos was the primary caregiver to Brandon, she knew that he was dangerous.
“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.”
Madrid’s body was found on Feb. 17 underneath a discarded mattress in a Meadow Lake field after he was reported missing.
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.
Brandon Villalobos told detectives that he and Madrid started arguing over Alex talking about Brandon’s daughter. Brandon said Alex attempted to stab him, and Brandon defended himself.
According to the autopsy, Madrid suffered puncture wounds to his head, multiple broken skull and face bones, including a knocked-out and a broken tooth; bleeding and swelling of his brain, internal bleeding into his right lung, pancreas, left adrenal gland, outer surfaces of the stomach and the esophagus.
There also was bleeding in the deep muscles in the back of the neck, numerous cuts, scrapes and bruises on his face and scalp and tissue tears and bleeding in the soft tissue and muscle of the right chest.
The autopsy also detailed hemorrhaging in and around Madrid’s eyes, findings that are usually “associated with manual strangulation and cases of asphyxia by compression of the body.”
While pathologists could not definitively say that happened, neither could those possibilities be completely excluded, they wrote. The cause of death was listed as “blunt trauma” and the manner of death was formally given as “homicide.”
According to the criminal complaint filed against Loretta Villalobos, she told deputies that on the night of the alleged homicide, her son and Alex had gone for a walk to vandalize abandoned mobile homes. Derrick said because she knew what the boys were up to, they charged her with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Loretta Villalobos 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,” according to the complaint. 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 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.”
If Brandon Villalobos is convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. If, however, he is convicted and is determined to be amenable to treatment, he would be sentenced as a juvenile.


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