Woman linked to 2019 murder receives new sentence

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The 2019 murder of 21-year-old Calvin Kelly made headlines. His death was one of a record number of homicides in Albuquerque.

Authorities charged four suspects who all received a sentence. On Thursday, one of them received a new sentence.

Police originally charged Cynthia Salgado with first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery for Kelly’s death. She took a plea deal and pleaded “no contest” to the conspiracy charge.

Salgado faced up to six years in prison, but as part of her plea deal she agreed to testify against the gunman in the case, Adam Cazares.

“I don’t think anyone believes that she was involved in the death of Mr. Kelly except for the fact that she knew about what Adam Cazares had done to him,” said Maxwell Pines, Salgado’s defense attorney.

Salgado was released into the Young Adult Court program to help her kick her drug habit. She ended up not testifying in Cazares’ trial, in part due to concerns about her sobriety. A jury convicted Cazares, who is now serving a life sentence.

According to court documents, Salgado kept using – and cut off her GPS monitor. That’s how she ended up back in jail.

“Cindy Leos, I just want to thank you for the opportunity of being in Young Adult Court. I know I didn’t succeed and I apologize for that,” Salgado said.

Her attorney argued for probation. Prosecutors then argued she should serve the full six years in prison.

Kelly’s parents were also there and in support of a prison sentence.

“I have a child that’s not there anymore,” said Paulette Barber, Kelly’s mother. “Meanwhile this young lady is still failing at everything they have gave her the opportunity to do, and I don’t think it’s fair.”

Ultimately, Judge Cindy Leos handed down a two-year prison sentence. Salgado will also serve two years of probation on the strictest level of supervision.

“There does have to be accountability because you did have, you did play a role in the death of Calvin Kelly,” Leos said. “Even though your role may have been minimal, you did play a role, and his parents miss him tremendously and the community misses him.”