Home Phoenix Press Releases 2011 Northern Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder

Northern Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 22, 2011
  • District of Arizona (602) 514-7500

PHOENIX—Joseph Aaron Duncan, 27, of Sawmill, Ariz., pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, in federal district court in Phoenix on November 21, 2011.

Duncan had been charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. After midnight on April 8, 2011, Duncan was at his residence with the victim, who was a friend of Duncan’s. Duncan was in possession of a .40 caliber pistol at the time and was intoxicated when he shot the victim one time in the chest. Duncan claimed there was a struggle and the gun went off. During the early morning hours of April 8, 2011, Duncan buried the victim and the victim was not discovered until several days after the shooting.

A conviction for second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life, a $250,000.00 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt 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.

Sentencing is set before Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt on February 8, 2012.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Navajo Division of Public Safety Department of Criminal Investigations. The prosecution is being handled by Christina J. Reid-Moore, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER: CR-11-8116-PCT-PGR
RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-259(Duncan)