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Press Release

Man from Smith Lake charged with murder in Indian Country

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

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Eric Garcia, 40, of Smith Lake, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was charged on March 15 in federal court with murder committed in Indian Country. Garcia will remain in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for March 17.

            According to a criminal complaint, on March 9, Garcia allegedly quarreled with the victim, identified in court records as John Doe, at a residence in McKinley County on the Navajo Nation. Garcia allegedly stabbed Doe in his chest, neck and abdominal area and fled. Doe died at the scene as a result of the attack. Navajo Police later located and arrested Garcia at his residence.

            A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Garcia faces up to life in prison.

            The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Department of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Jaros is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 16, 2021

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-50