Tohono O'odham man pleads guilty to second degree murder

TUCSON, Ariz. - On May 1, Nicholas Demetrius Jose, 23, of San Miguel, Ariz., pleaded guilty in Tucson federal district court to second degree murder.

According to the plea agreement, in the early morning hours of Aug. 8, 2010, Jose and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation at the victim's residence in San Miguel, on the Tohono O'odham Nation. Jose went across the street to his house and retrieved a .22 caliber Ruger rifle. He then went back to the victim's residence and confronted him on the back patio. Jose fired two shots, one of which struck the victim in the chest. The victim was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A conviction for second degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, U.S. District Judge David C. Bury will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. Judge Bury, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

Sentencing is set before Judge Bury on July 31.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Tohono O'odham Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Rui Wang, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.

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