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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Zuni Pueblo Man Sentenced to More Than 20 Years for Second-Degree Murder Conviction

Co-Defendant Sentenced Earlier in the Week to 17 Years in Prison

ALBUQUERQUE – Dusty Chavez, 23, a member and resident of Zuni Pueblo, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 248 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his conviction on a second-degree murder charge.  Chavez’s co-defendant, Douglas Burt, 20, also a member and resident of Zuni Pueblo, was sentenced to 17 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release on July 12, 2016.  

Chavez and Burt 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.  Chavez and Burt were subsequently indicted on murder charges on Nov. 19, 2014.

Chavez pled guilty to a felony information charging him with second-degree murder on Jan. 12, 2016.  According to the plea agreement, Chavez and Burt 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.  Burt pled guilty to a felony information charging him with second-degree murder on Jan. 7, 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 prosecuted the case.

Topic: 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crimes
Updated July 14, 2016