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Press Release

Man Charged with Involuntary 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Leonardo Robbie Duncan had preliminary and detention hearing in federal court on a complaint charging him with involuntary manslaughter. Duncan, 32, a certified member of the Navajo Nation, will remain in custody pending trial.

According to the criminal complaint, on August 12, 2023, New Mexico State Police (NMSP) responded to a report of a head-on collision involving two vehicles at approximately 6:45 a.m. in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico. Enroute, NMSP officers passed a male walking westbound approximated half a mile from the crash. Upon arrival at the scene, NMSP officers observed an off duty Southern Ute tribal officer rendering aid to the victims. The tribal officer informed NMSP officers that the driver of the other vehicle had fled the scene on foot. NMSP officers attempted to locate the individual but were unsuccessful. One victim passed away at the scene and the other passed in the ambulance enroute to the hospital.

Later the same day, Duncan’s father brought him to the Navajo Police Department to turn himself in. At that time, NPD officers conducted a breath alcohol content test which registered  .08 at 12:30 p.m., approximately six hours after the accident. 

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted on the current charge, Duncan faces up to 8 years in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office and the Navajo Police Department investigated this case with assistance from the New Mexico State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Bell is prosecuting the case.

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Updated August 17, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-187