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Laguna man sentenced for second degree murder

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ALBUQUERQUE – Jeffrey Antonio, 36, an enrolled member and resident of Laguna Pueblo, N.M., was sentenced June 21 in federal court in Albuquerque to 20 years of imprisonment for his second-degree murder conviction.  Antonio will serve a three-year term of supervised release after completing his prison sentence.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge William McClure of District IV of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services, and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales, III.

Antonio was indicted on March 23, 2016, on a second-degree murder charge.  The indictment alleged that Antonio committed the offense on July 31, 2015, on the Sandia Pueblo Indian Reservation in Bernalillo County, N.M.

A federal jury found Antonio guilty on the sole count of the indictment on April 19, 2017, after a three day trial.   The evidence at trial established that on July 31, 2015, Antonio was driving a truck on the Sandia Pueblo Indian Reservation when he swerved into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into another vehicle, injuring the driver and killing the passenger.

Law enforcement officers who responded to the scene of the crash observed a cold four-pack of beer in Antonio’s truck that was missing two cans and noted that Antonio smelled of alcohol.  The results of a blood test at a hospital following the crash revealed that Antonio had a BAC of .19.

During the trial, the jury learned that Antonio has two prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol; one in 2008 and another in 2011, which required that Antonio complete a first offender program.  The program incorporates educational aspects of the risks associated with driving while impaired.

This case was investigated by the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Spindle and Michael D. Murphy prosecuted the case.