Gallup man pleads guilty to second-degree murder



NAVAJO NATION (KRQE) – A 44-year-old Gallup man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for repeatedly stabbing a victim in the neck in 2018. According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice District of New Mexico and other court records, Darrell Desiderio and a co-defendant, Ervin Yazzie, conspired to kidnap a victim, identified as John Doe, and take the victim’s vehicle.

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The news release says Yazzie admitted to luring the victim to Desiderio to help take the victim’s vehicle under the pretense that Desiderio “knew some women who would want to ‘party.” Yazzie and the victim picked up Desiderio and drove north of Gallup to a remote area and then Desiderio ordered the victim to pull over and pressed a knife to the victim’s throat, according to the news release. There was a struggle for the keys and Desiderio stabbed the victim in the neck and continued to stab him and the victim died as a result of the wounds inflicted.

The news release states that Yazzie pleaded guilty on Feb. 3, 2020. Desiderio faces 20 to 30 years in prison and will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

The news release says the Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office investigated the case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department, Gallup Police Department, McKinley County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Spindle is prosecuting the case. No other information was provided.

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