Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Second Degree Murder Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Alvert Miller, 39, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a second degree murder charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Miller will be sentenced to 72 months in federal followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Miller was arrested on May 1, 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with involuntary manslaughter for killing a 53-year-old Navajo man and driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor on April 27, 2013. Miller subsequently was indicted on May 29, 2013, and charged with second degree murder.
According to court filings, on April 27, 2013, Miller was intoxicated when he lost control of the truck he was driving, causing a rollover collision on U.S. Highway 491 near Littlewater, N.M., which is located within the Navajo Indian Reservation. When the truck rolled over, the initial impact was on the passenger side of the vehicle, causing the victim, who was a passenger in Miller’s truck, to be ejected. The victim died upon impact as a result of blunt force trauma to the face and head. On April 29, 2013, during an interview with a tribal police investigator, Miller admitted that the rollover occurred because he was driving while intoxicated and fell asleep at the wheel.
During today’s plea hearing, Miller pleaded guilty to the indictment charging him with second degree murder and admitted killing the victim while driving under the influence of alcohol. In his plea agreement, Miller acknowledged that he knew based on his prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol that his conduct imperiled the lives of others.
Miller has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque and Farmington offices of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Novaline D. Wilson and Kyle T. Nayback.