From Convict to Free Woman: Catching Up with Ellen Snyder’s Life After Prison

Ellen Snyder, a North Albuquerque Acres, New Mexico resident, has a dark past that has kept her in the headlines for years.

In 2010, Ellen confessed to killing her husband, Mike Snyder, and burying him in their backyard.

Ellen Snyder’s story is tragic, characterized by a tumultuous marriage and spousal abuse, culminating in a violent end.

About Ellen Snyder

Ellen Snyder is a 64-year-old woman from New Mexico’s North Albuquerque Acres with a dark past. She made headlines in 2010 when her past sins caught up with her.

The woman, a mother of two and a widow, confessed to killing her husband and burying him in their backyard.

What’s shocking is that Ellen came clean eight years after murdering Mike and only after the police launched an investigation into the gruesome murder.

Even though they were in different fields, Ellen Snyder met Mike at work.

Mike, who had just finished his automotive college, got employed as a mechanic at a firm where he would meet his wife, who was the service manager.

The two fell in love and got married in 1994. Two years later, a daughter was born of the union.

mike snyder
Mike Snyder and son Michael

Unfortunately, the marriage began to go south shortly after that.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Mike turned abusive and would shove his wife against walls while shaking her by the shoulders. It turns out the abusive relationship went on for a long time.

In 2001, Mike Snyder was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. With this prognosis, Mike didn’t spend too much time on his jet boat as before, but the abuse escalated.

Mr. Snyder went onto disability, and the bad marriage got even worse.

That’s when Ellen, amidst a heated disagreement, committed to an heinous act that ended his life.

How Did Mike Snyder Die?

Michael Snyder met his untimely death in 2002. According to an autopsy by the police department eight years later, the master mechanic died due to gunshot wounds.

Ellen Snyder is said to have pulled the trigger of a semi-automatic firearmand sprayed her husband with bullets killing him instantly.

Her 17-year-old son, Michael Sheffield (from her previous marriage), was in the house when his mother shot Mike. He rushed to call 911, thinking his mother had been the victim.

However, when he noticed she was okay, he hung up.

Ellen later asked someone with a backhoe to dig up a hole in her backyard that would act as Mike’s grave. With the help of her son, she buried Mike and kept quiet about it.

Ellen called Mike’s family to cover her tracks and told them that he’d left suddenly.

After trying to make contact with Mike for several months to no avail, the case went cold.

What happened to Ellen?

Ellen would have escaped the long hand of the law had it not been for her son’s big mouth. Watching his mother kill Mike haunted Mike and damaged any meaningful mother-son relationship.

To ease the torment, he confided in a friend about what his mother had done.

The friend, in turn, went to the police with the information in 2010. He told the police department what transpired and where Mike’s body was hidden. The authorities arrested Ellen.

Under normal circumstances, Ellen would have been charged with second-degree murder, which would most likely attract the maximum life sentence in prison. However, according to the 10-year statute of limitation, the time for doing that had elapsed.

The prosecutors tried to charge Snyder with first-degree murder but proving that to the jury would be challenging. There was no evidence showing that Snyder had planned to kill her husband.

It looked like she went for the gun in the heat of an argument during the morning hours of the fateful day. Additionally, the defendant’s lawyer claimed that Ellen was a “battered woman” who was defending herself from abuse.

Co-workers came forward with claims that Ellen once had a black eye.

After the trial, Ellen pleaded guilty to manslaughter, tax fraud (she faked Mike’s signatures), firearms crime, deception about Mike being alive, and tampering with evidence.

During the hearing, Allan Snyder, Mike’s mum, told the judge that there was no worse feeling for a parent than to lose a child in such a way.

The judge gave her a sentence of 11 years in prison – the maximum allowable sentence under the plea agreement.

Had the state received a murder conviction against Ellen, she would have obtained a life sentence.

This ruling has inspired some rethinking of the statute of limitation. For instance, a story published by Alamogordo Daily News documents reports by legislators pushing for repealing the statute of limitation in murder cases.

Ellen Christine Snyder today

Upon her release, she went back to North Albuquerque Acres where she reintegrated into society and continued to leave a quiet and uneventful life.

Upon her release, she went back to North Albuquerque Acres and settled into a normal life.

To date, very little has been reported/known about her whereabouts after finishing her sentence.