Man charged with killing Navajo Nation officer pleads not guilty

Kirby Cleveland
Kirby Cleveland mugshot from Santa Fe County, September 2016.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –The man accused of gunning down Navajo Nation police officer Houston Largo pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Kirby Cleveland is facing eight counts relating to the murder, including first-degree murder, killing a federal officer and felony murder while escaping from an institution of confinement. Four of them are punishable by death.

It will be up to the U.S. attorney general to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Kirby Cleveland, 32, is now awaiting a federal court judge to set his trial date after he entered eight pleas of not guilty to the charges.

Authorities say some of the charges are related to his alleged escape from an Albuquerque half-way house.

Investigators say Cleveland shot and killed Officer Houston Largo during a domestic violence call, March 11, about 15 miles west of Grants.

They say he was the passenger in a truck Largo pulled over.

According to a criminal complaint, Cleveland told his wife he shot a police officer and to go get help.

Authorities found Cleveland hiding under a large rock the next day.

The FBI then arrested Largo on federal charges and he has since been in their custody.

He’s expected to remain there until his trial.

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