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Murder charge filed for fatal shooting of Navajo Nation police officer

Houston James Largo was laid to rest in New Mexico on March 16, 2017. Photo: Navajo Nation OPVP Russell Begaye And Jonathan Nez

Federal prosecutors laid a murder charge against a man accused of killing a police officer for the Navajo Nation.

Houston James Largo, 27, was fatally shot while responding to a domestic violence call on the New Mexico portion of the reservation. According to a federal complaint, he was killed by Kirby Cleveland, 32.

Cleveland, who is Navajo, was the subject of the call that came through around 11pm on March 11, according to an affidavit submitted with the complaint. His common-law wife said he had been intoxicated and had been firing a rifle outside the couple's home near Prewitt.

Cleveland left the home as a passenger in a car driven by a man identified only as "E.C," the affidavit reads. Largo stopped the vehicle and handcuffed E.C. to the steering wheel but Cleveland apparently got out and shot the officer, according to the document.

Some neighbors came upon the scene and notified Navajo police, according to the affidavit. Cleveland was apparently still alive in the early morning hours of March 12 but died after being transported to a hospital in Albuquerque.

Cleveland was arrested on March 13, inside a cave not far from the crime scene, the affidavit states. He was charged one day later but the case wasn't unsealed until Tuesday.

Cleveland previously pleaded guilty in connection with an assault on the reservation in 2013. He was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release.

During his release, he pleaded guilty last August to violating conditions of his parole. He had been drinking and failed to complete a substance abuse program, according to the judgment in the case.

Read More on the Story:
Complaint: Man charged with killing Navajo officer was drunk (AP 3/21)
Suspected cop killer’s wife had called police (The Albuquerque Journal 3/21)
Suspected cop killer intoxicated during shooting (KOAT 3/21)
Man accused in Navajo officer’s death appears in court (KRQE 3/21)

Related Stories:
Navajo Nation pays tribute to slain officer with suspect in custody (3/17)
Navajo Nation mourning loss of police officer killed in line of duty (3/13)