Published April 15, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE – On Wednesday, Apr. 12, a federal grand jury filed an indictment against Kirby Cleveland, 32, a Navajo tribal member accused of killing Navajo Police Officer Houston James Largo.
While responding to a domestic violence call in Casamero Lake, N.M., on the night of Mar. 11, 2017, Officer Largo was allegedly shot by Cleveland. Largo would later die from critical injuries sustained from being shot.
The indictment charges against Cleveland are the following, in order of Counts 1-8: murdering an officer or employee of the United States who was engaged in the performance of his official duties; committing felony murder while escaping from an institution of confinement; first-degree murder; escaping from an institution of confinement where he was confined after his conviction on a felony offense; using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, the murder of an officer and employee of the of the United States as charged in Count 1; using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, felony murder as charged in Count 2; using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, first-degree murder as charged in Count 3; and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Counts 1, 2, 5 and 6 each carry a maximum penalty of death or life imprisonment upon conviction. The indictment includes “Special Findings” under 18 U.S.C. § 3591 with respect to these four-death eligible offenses. The Special Findings preserve the United States’ the ability to seek the death penalty.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said he appreciated the timeliness in which the Attorney General has brought forth the indictment. President Begaye urged the judges to move forward on this case and bring it to closure.