The Navajo Nation police and federal authorities have charged one man in the shooting death of a tribal officer as they continue their investigation of the incident together.
Sgt. Darrell Curley, an almost 30 year veteran of the force, was killed after Victor Bigman, 48, of Kaibeto, Ariz., fired shots at Curley as the officer attempted to subdue Bigman’s fighting sons.
Bigman fired four shots, according to the Associated Press, Curley fired several as well before he fell. Bigman remains in a hospital.
Johnson Bigman, 25, and Tyson Bigman, 21, pleaded not guilty Monday to tribal charges of disorderly conduct, homicide, accomplice to aggravated assault and criminal nuisance. They remain in tribal custody pending a Friday bail hearing in Tuba City.
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The FBI and the Navajo tribe have concurrent jurisdiction when both the suspect and victims of an alleged crime are American Indian. Tribal authorities can prosecute only misdemeanors that typically carry far lighter sentences than federal convictions. Victor Bigman faces life in prison if convicted on the federal charge.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety assisted in the investigation because the shooting involved a police officer.