ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – Joe Macias, 63, had an horrendous day last Wednesday, which was April Fool’s Day.
It might have been the strain of having to be home all the time with his disabled wife, during the coronavirus lockdown, cooped up in their small home in the Meadowlark Mobile Home park.
He obviously wasn’t that fond of her to begin with.
So last Wednesday, Joe left home for a while and came back around 5 p.m. with a four-pack of beer and some concerns about finances.
When President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, into law, he initiated a $2 trillion stimulus package, the largest emergency relief bill in American history. Part of that package is one-time cash payments of up to $1,200 to Americans who qualify.
Unfortunately for Joe, he discovered that he was not one of the Americans who qualified. He was out $1200 he thought he had coming, and he tried to console himself with a few brews.
Once Joe finished off the beers, he asked his wife for her car keys to go buy more.
She refused, quite possibly because she thought he was over the legal limit.
Joe thought this most unreasonable since the nearest place to buy beer is the 7-11 on San Antonio Dr., about a half a mile away.
While it would only take Joe about three minutes to drive there in his wife’s car, it would take him every bit of 10 minutes to walk there and longer to walk back, lugging beer the whole way.
He asked again for the keys. Again his wife refused.
Joe lost his temper. He screamed at his wife, “You’re going to pay the consequences.” Then he left the house on foot.
When he came back, a few hours later, he did not bring beer, but instead, a gas can filled with gasoline.
He confronted his wife, who was in her pajamas, and pushed her on the floor. Joe poured gasoline on her, then poured it all over the mobile home. Perhaps because he was drunk and did so accidentally, or perhaps it was deliberate, but he poured or spilled gasoline on himself as well.
Then Joe pulled out a cigarette and attempted to light it, flicking his lighter several times. Due to the lighter getting gasoline on it, it failed to light.
It is not clear if Joe intended to burn himself up along with his wife and their home or not, but, failing to light his lighter, he was unable to kill anyone. He abandoned his plan and staggered out of the house.
The Albuquerque Police were called and responded around 8:30 p.m. Officers found Macias’ disabled wife on the floor, her hair and pajamas soaked in gasoline. They also found Joe walking down the street not far from home, his clothes soaked in gasoline.
They arrested him and charged him with attempted murder, kidnapping, and aggravated battery against a household member.
He is no longer residing with his wife, and currently staying at the Albuquerque Metropolitan Detention Center.