Skip to main content
Press Release

Kewa Pueblo Man Sentenced to Twelve Years in Federal Prison for Second Degree Murder Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Dennis J. Lovato, 29, a member and resident of Kewa Pueblo, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his second degree murder conviction.  Lovato also was ordered to pay $1600.00 in restitution.

Lovato was arrested on April 20, 2011, on a criminal complaint charging him with beating another Kewa Pueblo man to death outside the victim’s residence on April 15, 2011.  He subsequently was indicted and charged with second degree murder.  Lovato has been in federal custody since his arrest. 

On Oct. 24, 2013, Lovato entered a guilty plea to the indictment and admitted killing the victim on April 15, 2011, by beating him to death with his hands and feet.  Lovato admitted that he acted with malice aforethought as he beat the victim to death.  According to court filings, a preliminary autopsy report indicated that the victim died as a result of multiple blunt force trauma.

            This case was investigated by the Santa Fe office of the FBI and the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Programs and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark T. Baker and Holland S. Kastrin.
Updated January 26, 2015