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Press Release

Zuni Pueblo Man Sentenced to 17 Years for Second Degree Murder Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Douglas Burt, 20, a member and resident of Zuni Pueblo, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 204 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on a second degree murder charge. 

Burt and his co-defendant Dusty Chavez, 23, also a member and resident of Zuni Pueblo, were arrested in Nov. 2014, on a criminal complaint charging them with murdering a man on Oct. 28, 2014, in the Zuni Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M.  Burt and Chavez were subsequently indicted on murder charges on Nov. 19, 2014.

On Jan. 7, 2016, Burt pled guilty to a felony information charging him with second degree murder.  According to the plea agreement, Burt and Chavez instigated a fight with the victim during which Chavez threw the victim to the ground and then kicked and punched the victim.  Burt also kicked the victim; Chavez hit the victim in the head with a rock; and Burt stabbed the victim in the chest.  The autopsy report revealed that the victim died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds to the chest.

On Jan. 12, 2016, Chavez pled guilty to a felony information charging him with second degree murder.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Chavez will be sentenced within the range of 228 to 276 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Chavez is currently scheduled for sentencing on July 14, 2016.  

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Zuni Pueblo Tribal Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elaine Y. Ramirez and Kyle T. Nayback are prosecuting the case.

Updated July 12, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime