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Press Release

Navajo man sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter in Indian Country

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

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Joshua Gutierrez, 22, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was sentenced April 7 in federal court to 12 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter involving the use of a firearm in Indian Country.

            Gutierrez pleaded guilty Oct. 15, 2020.  According to the plea agreement and other court documents, on March 29, 2020, while visiting the home of his girlfriend and her father, Gutierrez was awakened by an argument. He armed himself with a handgun, walked toward the room where the argument was taking place, and passed one of the men involved in the argument. As they passed each other, the man swung at Gutierrez, and Gutierrez shot the man in the chest, killing him. Gutierrez then pointed the gun at two other people and threatened to shoot them if they did not leave. The incident took place in To’hajiilee, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation. In his plea, Gutierrez waived any claim of self-defense.

            Upon his release from prison, Gutierrez will be subject to three years of supervised release.

            The FBI investigated this case with assistance from Navajo Nation Police Department and the Navajo Nation Department of Criminal Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Jaros prosecuted the case.

Updated April 8, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-68