Taos Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Involuntary Manslaughter Charge
ALBUQUERQUE—Keith E. Lucero, 27, a member and resident of Taos Pueblo, N.M., pled guilty this morning to an indictment charging him with involuntary manslaughter and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. The guilty plea was entered in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., without the benefit of a plea agreement.
Lucero was arrested on July 28, 2014, on an indictment charging him with killing an Indian man and assaulting another Indian man, causing him to suffer serious bodily injury on March 2, 2014. The indictment alleged that Lucero committed these crimes while driving under the influence of alcohol in Indian Country in Taos County, N.M.
According to court filings, Lucero killed a Taos Pueblo man who was in Lucero’s vehicle during a crash in El Prado, N.M., while Lucero was under the influence of alcohol. Another Taos Pueblo man who was also a passenger in the vehicle sustained serious bodily injuries as a result of the crash.
During today’s change of plea hearing, Lucero pled guilty to the indictment. At sentencing, Lucero faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. Maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided for information purposes only. The sentence on Lucero will be determined by the court. Lucero has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Taos Pueblo Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez is prosecuting the case.