Man pleads guilty in killing on Arizona reservation

Tucson, Arizona (AP) April 2011

A man has pleaded guilty in the 2007 shooting death of the brother of the Pascua Yaqui tribe’s former chairwoman.

Federal prosecutors say 20-year-old Gerardo Benito Ramirez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a plea agreement.

Ramirez faces a prison term of between 14 years and 171/2 years when he’s sentenced June 3 in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

Ramirez has been in custody since May 2009 in connection with Jan. 1, 2007, killing of 32-year-old Gabriel Frias.

Frias was gunned down following an altercation at a party on the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation southwest of Tucson.

Authorities say Ramirez fired a shotgun into a crowd of partygoers and apparently didn’t know Frias.

Frias was the brother of Herminia Frias, who served as tribal chairwoman from 2004 to 2008.