Defense questions daughter in murder trial

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The prosecution questioned Renee Ohlemacher about the death of her parents, Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher, and on Friday, it was the defense’s turn.

Her parents were murdered in their northwest Albuquerque home in 2005.

Ronald Santiago is charged with their deaths, but his attorneys say Renee could have done it.

Santiago’s attorneys got to question Renee on Friday about the morning her parents were killed and her relationship with them before they died.

The defense had Renee take them through that day in August 2005, the 911 call she made and the questions police asked her after they arrived at the home.

The state says Santiago shot and killed Greg and Bernadette in their bedroom early one morning while Renee was in her own bedroom. They claim Santiago had financial motives.

But the defense argues that’s not the case and that Renee had the opportunity to kill her parents.

During cross-examination, the defense had Renee read certain excerpts from the journal she kept as a teen that showed a strained relationship between Renee and her parents.

“My mom reminds me of astrological sign Gemini, two-faced good for nothing b****,” Renee wrote. “I don’t understand her anymore, our relationship is seriously suffering for who knows what reason.”

In another part of her journal, Renee wrote, “I hate my life, I hate school, I hate work, I hate my dad etc. I really really don’t know how much more I can take before someone or something makes me explode.”

Renee also had to read in court an entry that said, “My mom and dad don’t listen to me, they criticize me, that’s what they do best.”

Those words written three years before Renee says she woke up to gunshots and screams to find her parents murdered.

In an interview Renee gave after her death, she said Greg and Bernadette were the best parents ever. On Friday, she showed the jury tattoos she got to remember her parents.

“This one is my momma’s handwriting,” she said.

At times during questioning, Renee appeared upset, saying she did like her parents, despite what’s in her diary. She also said she has some “major PTSD.”

The defense also questioned her on the 911 call Renee made the morning of her parents murders. She was asked why she told the operator her parents were shot, and not that she heard gunshots or an intruder in the home:

“I didn’t know that was the first thing I was supposed to think of,” Renee said Friday. “I didn’t know there was a textbook on 911 calls.”

The defense also questioned Renee on the medication she had for depression and anxiety when she initially told police she didn’t have any.

The cross-examination for Renee is not over; she will be back on the stand Monday. She has not been asked her about the half-million dollars in life insurance she collected after the murders.

One of the big pieces of evidence the prosecution planned to present was a call to police the Ohlemachers threatened to make when they didn’t get their money from Santiago after refinancing. They believe this proves motive.

On Friday, the defense filed a motion to exclude talk of that incident, saying it’s hearsay. The judge agreed and will not allow it. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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