A Rio Rancho woman charged with alleged aggravated battery against a household member pleaded not guilty on Monday afternoon.  

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 17 at 1 p.m.

On March 26, the Rio Rancho Police Department responded to a call about an argument between 42-year-old Darlene Dean and her wife. During the investigation, they found out that earlier in the day, the two got into a squabble that turned physical, according to a criminal complaint.  

About 3 a.m., Dean, who had been drinking, walked out of the house and got into a truck parked in the driveway. Her wife joined Dean inside the vehicle to try to stop Dean from driving impaired. The two got into an argument, then Dean allegedly grabbed a pocket knife from inside the truck and held it against the victim’s neck, according to a criminal complaint. 

The spouse was able to take the knife away from the suspect and go back into the house, where she hid the weapon on top of a refrigerator, along with Dean’s keys, the complaint said.   

The victim sustained minor lacerations on her neck.  

Dean told officers that she and her wife were in the truck and she had been drinking. However, the suspect said she did not know how the victim got the neck marks.   

“She believed it was from (the victim) being suicidal and holding the knife to her own neck,” the complaint states.   

Aggravated battery against a household member is a third-degree felony.  

If convicted, Dean can face up to three years in prison and pay a $5,000 fine.  

The criminal complaint does not state what happened with the original call of domestic violence.