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Press Release

Federal Jury Finds Laguna Pueblo Man Guilty on Second-Degree Murder Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal jury sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., returned a verdict late yesterday afternoon finding Jeffrey Antonio guilty of second-degree murder. The verdict was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney, Special Agent in Charge William McClure of District IV of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services, and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales, III.


Antonio, 35, an enrolled member and resident of Laguna Pueblo, N.M., was indicted on March 23, 2016, on a second-degree murder charge. The indictment alleged that Antonio committed the offense on July 31, 2015, on the Sandia Pueblo Indian Reservation in Bernalillo County, N.M.


Antonio’s trial began on April 17, 2017, and concluded yesterday afternoon when the jury returned a guilty verdict on the sole count of the indictment. The evidence at trial established that on July 31, 2015, Antonio was driving a truck on the Sandia Pueblo Indian Reservation when he swerved into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into another vehicle, injuring the driver and killing the passenger. Law enforcement officers who responded to the scene of the crash observed a cold four-pack of beer in Antonio’s truck that was missing two cans and noted that Antonio smelled of alcohol. The results of a blood test at a hospital following the crash revealed that Antonio had a BAC of .19.


During the trial, the jury learned that Antonio has two prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol; one in 2008 and another in 2011, which required that Antonio complete a first offender program. The program incorporates educational aspects of the risks associated with driving while impaired.


The jury deliberated less than two hours before returning a guilty verdict.


Antonio has been in federal custody since his arrest on March 28, 2016, and will remain detained pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Antonio faces a statutory maximum penalty of life in prison.


This case was investigated by the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Spindle and Michael D. Murphy are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 20, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime