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Press Release

Three Charged with 2020 Murder and Kidnapping of Zuni Man

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

ALBUQUERQUE – 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 that Camille Damon, Ronald Belone and Tyran Begay appeared in federal court on an indictment charging them with first degree murder and kidnapping resulting in death. Begay, 38, of Teec No Pos, Arizona, will remain in custody pending trial, which has not been scheduled. Damon, 44, of Mexican Springs, New Mexico, Belone, 40, of Yahtahey, New Mexico, will remain in temporary custody pending a detention hearing, which is scheduled for Friday, January 5, 2024. All 3 defendants are enrolled members of the Navajo Nation.

According to the indictment, between Feb. 6 and Feb. 15, 2020, Damon, Belone and Begay kidnapped John Doe before killing him in a remote location near Smith Lake, New Mexico. John Doe was restrained, beaten, and strangled with a ligature.

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Damon, Belone and Begay face mandatory life imprisonment.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with the assistance of the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Probasco is prosecuting the case.

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Updated January 4, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-8