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Woman Cleared in Ex-Husband’s Death Charged With Killing Current Husband

August 21, 1996

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ A woman who was cleared of wrongdoing after claiming she killed her ex-husband in self-defense in 1974 told police she mistook her current husband for a burglar and fatally shot him.

Investigators were looking for a man who may have been husband No. 2.

Terri Gilbert, 49, was released on $50,000 property bond Tuesday. She had been held on a murder charge in the shooting of her husband, Eugene Gilbert, a Bernalillo County commissioner whose body was found in the basement of her house Sunday night.

Mrs. Gilbert had called police to say she had just shot a burglar.

She was arrested early Monday and appeared in court but did not enter a plea.

Her ex-husband, Stephen Hotchkiss, was shot to death in 1974 in a trailer in Corrales. A grand jury ruled that the shooting was justifiable homicide and she was not charged.

``She said he was attacking her and that she was defending herself. ... There (were) bullet holes all over the trailer and casings scattered all over the place,″ Carlos Pino, a Sandoval County sheriff’s deputy at the time, told the Albuquerque Journal.

Investigators learned about the Hotchkiss case from a newspaper clipping that was sent to them anonymously, Albuquerque police Lt. Richard Tarango said.

They also were looking for a man who may have been married to Terri Hotchkiss, the widow, before she married Gilbert in 1975.

``It looks like there were three husbands, and we know two are dead,″ Tarango said. ``I’d like to know where the other one is.″

Tarango said Mrs. Gilbert is refusing to talk to police.

Gilbert, 49, filed for divorce in March, citing ``discord and conflict″ as the reason.

``Look, this is a very trying time for us. Please leave us alone,″ said a woman who answered the phone this morning at Mrs. Gilbert’s home.

Mrs. Gilbert’s lawyer, Charles Daniels, was unavailable for comment Tuesday, his wife said.

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