Two Hopi men indicted for murder

PHOENIX, Ariz. - A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a one-count indictment last week against Gene Austin, 30, and Calvin Masaquaptewa, 22, both of Polacca, for Second Degree Murder.

The indictment alleges that on or about Oct. 14, within the confines of the Hopi Indian Reservation, Austin and Masaquaptewa, deliberately and intentionally murdered an adult Indian male victim.

Both men are in the custody of the United States Marshals Service and were scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 23 before Judge Lawrence O. Andrews in Phoenix.

A conviction for Second Degree Murder carries a sentence of up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.  In determining an actual sentence, Judge G. Murray Snow will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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