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August 31, 11

NEWS / Cochiti Pueblo Man Receives 25-Year Prison Sentence for Murdering His 95-Year-Old Grandmother


ALBUQUERQUE—United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, this morning, a United States District Judge sentenced Brian Joseph Chavez, 39, a member of the Pueblo of Cochiti, to a 25-year term of imprisonment for his second-degree murder conviction. Chavez, who has been in custody since his arrest on June 19, 2009, will be on supervised release for five years after he completes his prison sentence.

Chavez was convicted through a guilty plea of murdering his 95-year-old grandmother, Jane Louise Chavez, on June 19, 2009 in the home shared by Ms. Chavez and Chavez in the Pueblo of Cochiti. According to court filings, an investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that, on June 19, 2009, Francisco Chavez, the son of Ms. Chavez and the father of Chavez, went to his mother’s home at approximately 11:30 a.m. for his daily visit. Because Francisco Chavez had lost his hearing, his son typically communicated with him by written notes. When Francisco Chavez arrived at his mother’s home, Chavez handed his father a series of written notes explaining that he had killed his grandmother at her request and in order to end her suffering.

After Francisco Chavez returned to his own home in an agitated state, other family members went to Ms. Chavez’s home and found her dead body on the couch. Chavez explained to them that he shot his grandmother to relieve her suffering. When emergency medical responders got to Ms. Chavez’s home at 1:20 p.m. that day, they determined that she had no heartbeat, was cold to touch, lividity was apparent, and her limbs were stiff. Chavez told an emergency medical responder that his grandmother had been dead since 6:30 that morning. Later that day, Chavez made a detailed statement to agents describing how and why he shot his grandmother “four or five times in the chest.” An autopsy confirmed that Ms. Chavez died from gunshot wounds to the chest.

Chavez was arrested on June 19, 2010 and subsequently was indicted on a first degree murder charge on July 7, 2010. On April 22, 2011, Chavez entered a guilty plea to an information charging him with second degree murder. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the first degree murder charge was dismissed against Chavez after he was sentenced.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Offices of Justice Services, Northern Pueblos Agency, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Presiliano Torrez.

http://www.fbi.gov/albuquerque/press-releases/2011/cochiti-pueblo-man-receives-25-year-prison-sentence-for-murdering-his-95-year-old-grandmother

 




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