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Press Release

Gila River Tribal Member Sentenced To 18 Years For Second Degree Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

PHOENIX – On September 16, 2013, Charles Leo Thomas, 39, of Laveen, Ariz., an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow to 18 years in federal prison, followed by a term of five years of supervised release.  Thomas pleaded guilty to second degree murder on June 27, 2013.

According to court documents, on April 18, 2012, Thomas and two of his co-defendants, Manuel Bernell Moore and Delbert Monroe Thomas got into an altercation with the victim and struck the victim multiple times.  Thomas grabbed a knife and stabbed the victim three times causing fatal injuries.  Co-defendant Delbert Thomas was sentenced to 60 months in prison on August 12, 2013, after pleading guilty to accessory after the fact. Moore is awaiting trial.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Gila River Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The prosecution was handled by Christina J. Reid-Moore and Dimitra H. Sampson, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-12-1196-001-PHX-GMS        
RELEASE NUMBER:   2013-072_Thomas

For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit

Updated January 7, 2015