Española man sentenced to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that Douglas Smith, 71, of Española, New Mexico, was sentenced on Nov. 10 to two years and three months in prison. On June 18, 2021, a federal jury convicted Smith of involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country.

In the early morning hours of May 5, 2018, Smith shot a woman he believed was trying to break into his mother’s camper trailer. Smith walked outside his residence to investigate a motion sensor alarm, armed with a .22 caliber handgun. When he saw someone at the door of the camper trailer, he fired multiple rounds, one of which struck the victim in the upper left temple, killing her. No weapons or burglary tools were located near the victim.

The incident occurred on the Pueblo of Santa Clara and the victim was an enrolled member of the Santa Clara Pueblo. Smith is non-Indian.

 Upon his release from prison, Smith will be subject to two years of supervised release.

The Santa Fe Resident Agency of the FBI investigated this case with assistance from the Española Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Novaline Wilson and Kyle Nayback prosecuted the case.

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