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Press Release

Jicarilla Woman Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Laurice Montoya pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Montoya, 38, of  Dulce, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to the plea agreement and other court documents, on Jan. 19, 2022, Montoya and the victim, John Doe, got into an argument in her home on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation. During the argument, Montoya hit Doe on the head two times with a snow shovel, causing him to fall and have a seizure. Montoya stayed with Doe but could not call for help.

About four hours later, a friend showed up at the residence and called 911. Emergency Medical Services of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe transported John Doe to the San Juan Regional Medical Center where he later died. Doctors found that John Doe had sustained traumatic brain injury, a rib fracture, severe bruising on his upper body and two cuts on his scalp.

By the terms of the plea agreement, Montoya can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison followed by up to 3 years of supervised release.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Jicarilla Apache Police and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Robert James Booth II is prosecuting the case.

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Updated May 5, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-99