Woman charged in Albuquerque homicide to remain in jail

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Kristina Withrow sat behind bars Friday morning, waiting to see if a judge would release her before trial.

Police said Withrow handed a gun to her teenage son who shot and killed a stranger near their apartment this week.

“This is a dangerous individual, it shows she doesn’t really have care for other individuals for their lives, for a perhaps transient individual walking past her apartment complex,” said Mia Ruben, state prosecutor.

The state claimed what was most concerning was that she got her family involved.

“One, she asked her son to shoot at a homeless woman who was walking by her apartment because she was getting frustrated,” Ruben said. “Somewhere in the criminal complaint, it states she was ‘getting frustrated with homeless people.'”

In the past, Withrow pled no contest to an assault and attempted battery charge in 2014. She was also convicted of a misdemeanor for a violent charge – both of those incidents came up during the detention hearing Friday.

“Her sentence was successfully completed, all obligations met for that conviction,” said Withrow’s defense. “She cooperated with law enforcement.”

Withrow’s defense argued that although she initially planned to lie to police, she ended up telling the truth. She argued Withrow should be granted house arrest to mitigate any danger to the public.

“Told them where to find the gun, did a confession, and did not try and leave the scene herself,” Withrow’s defense said. “Everything points to the fact that Mrs. Withrow will abide by the rules that the court establishes for her.”

Ultimately, the judge decided to keep Withrow in jail.

“I do find that the defendant would likely pose a threat to the safety of others, despite lack of criminal history, I think it’s just as troubling when someone – out of the blue – does something like this,” the judge said.

The judge said he does believe Withrow may have mental health or substance abuse issues. He recommended getting her screenings for both before reconsidering release or some kind of treatment.

Withrow’s son, 18-year-old Kristian Crespin, is still waiting to see if he will also stay behind bars until trial.