ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Joshua Gutierrez, 22, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation of New Mexico, pleaded guilty in federal court in Albuquerque today to voluntary manslaughter and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in Indian Country.
According to his admission in the plea agreement, on March 29, while visiting the home of his girlfriend and her father, Gutierrez was awakened by an argument. He armed himself with a handgun, walked toward the room where the argument was taking place, and passed one of the men involved in the argument. When, according to Gutierrez, the man swung at him, Gutierrez shot the man in the chest, killing him. Gutierrez then pointed the gun at two other people and threatened to shoot them if they did not leave. The incident took place on the Navajo Nation.
Gutierrez is currently in custody pending sentencing. He faces 12 years in prison under the terms of the plea agreement.
The Albuquerque office of the FBI investigated this case with assistance from Navajo Nation police and the Navajo Nation Criminal Investigations unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Jaros is prosecuting the case.