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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pinedale, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Involuntary Manslaughter Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Ramsey Litzin, 20, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pinedale, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a felony information charging him with involuntary manslaughter.

Litzin was arrested on Nov. 15, 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he killed a 27-year-old Navajo man by stabbing him to death in the early hours of Nov. 12, 2013, in Pine Dale, N.M., which is located within the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Court filings reflect that Litzin was intoxicated when he killed the victim during a physical altercation between the two men.

During today’s plea hearing, Litzin pleaded guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge and admitted killing the victim by stabbing him with a knife.  In his plea agreement, Litzin admitted that he armed himself with a knife prior to a physical fight with the victim and stabbed the victim approximately 23 times with the intention of causing the  victim to sustain serious bodily injury and knowing his actions could result in the victim’s death.  Although most of the stab wounds were superficial, at least three stab wounds contributed to the victim’s death.  Litzin stated that he was angry, intoxicated and had been struck by the victim when he stabbed the victim to death.

Litzin has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.   At sentencing, Litzin faces a statutory maximum penalty of eight years in federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito.

Updated January 26, 2015