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Press Release

Española man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country

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

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Douglas Smith, 71, of Española, New Mexico, was convicted today by a federal jury of involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country. A sentencing date has not been set.

            According to a criminal complaint and other court records, in the early morning hours of May 5, 2018, Smith shot a woman he believed was trying to break into his mother’s camper trailer. Smith walked outside his residence to investigate a motion sensor alarm, armed with a .22 caliber handgun. When he saw someone at the door of the camper trailer, he fired multiple rounds, one of which struck the victim in the upper left temple, killing her. No weapons or burglary tools were located near the victim.

            The incident occurred on the Santa Clara Pueblo and the victim was an enrolled member of the Santa Clara Pueblo. Smith is non-Indian. Smith faces up to eight years in prison.

            The Santa Fe Resident Agency of the FBI investigated this case with assistance from the Española Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Novaline Wilson and Kyle Nayback are prosecuting the case.

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Updated June 18, 2021

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-121