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Navajo man no longer faces death penalty in officer killing

November 20, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Federal prosecutors will not pursue the death penalty in a case of a Navajo man accused of killing a tribal police officer.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Officer Houston Largo was killed in March 2017 during a traffic stop north of Thoreau.

Authorities charged Kirby Cleveland, alleging he recounted shooting a police officer to his wife after the killing.

It is unclear why U.S. Attorney John Anderson pulled back from plans to pursue capital punishment in the case. A spokesman declined to comment on Monday beyond a one-page motion filed by prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.

A federal judge had set a three-day hearing on the motions for next week.

Prosecutors have moved to cancel and re-set the hearing.

The Navajo Nation opposes the death penalty.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com

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