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Best friend: Woman who was stabbed to death saved my life

Published On: Oct 15 2012 09:21:47 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 14 2014 06:27:49 PM CST

ABC-7's Vanessa de la Vina reports.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

She was just trying to break up a fight at a party, and now she's dead. That's what a friend of Delia Vasquez, 22, told ABC-7.

Las Cruces police said Jacklyne Legarreta, 23, stabbed Vasquez in the chest after Vasquez tried to break up a fight between Legarreta and another woman early Saturday morning.

That woman is Vanessa Montoya, Vasquez's best friend.

Montoya said what happened on Saturday is a nightmare she wishes she could wake up from.

She told ABC-7 she lost her best friend and her future sister-in-law because of one drunken night.

"All I remember is Delia saying Jackie stabbed her, Jackie stabbed her. There was blood everywhere. It was horrible," Montoya said.

Montoya said Saturday morning was a blur. She and Vasquez went to her cousin's apartment to celebrate his birthday.

"We were having so much fun that night. I would've never thought I would've lost my friend that night," Montoya said.

Montoya said Legarreta got to the party already drunk and started accusing Montoya's friends of looking at her fiance inappropriately.

"She was just picking fights, picking fights. Me and Jackie got in a physical fight. Delia ended up finding out or seeing and tried to separate us," Montoya said.

That's when Legarreta stabbed Vasquez in the chest, according to police.

"I couldn't think. Just seeing blood all over her face was horrible. I feel like Delia saved my life because it was me and Jackie fighting. She could've stabbed me, so Delia saved my life, but it's not fair," Montoya said.

Montoya said Legarreta is engaged to her brother, Stephan Montoya. The three of them live together with Legarreta's two children. 

Montoya told ABC-7 Legarreta never would have hurt Vasquez if she was sober. She said a woman at the party gave Legarreta the knife she used to stab Vasquez.

"I know Jackie would've never got that knife. She would've never done that. I know Jackie well enough to know that wasn't Jackie," Montoya said.

For Montoya, it's hard to take any side in this nightmare.

"They're both good women; both very kind, outgoing women. I can't sit here and say Jackie deserves that. No one deserves anything. Delia was always laughing. The things that can happen to you when you're drinking, you just never know," Montoya said.

Montoya said this tragic incident has made her think twice about drinking again.

According to court documents, Legarreta admitted to fighting with Montoya, but she told police she did not fight with Vasquez.

Police said Legarreta went inside to clean up and hide evidence after the stabbing.

Legarreta is charged with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence. She is being held at the Doña Ana County Detention Center on a $250,000 cash-only bond.

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