FARMINGTON — A Bloomfield man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in federal court in Albuquerque on Thursday morning.

Jasper Fernandez, 38, will be sentenced to eight to 10 years in prison for killing Vernita Jose, 36, on Nov. 4, 2011, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzales said in a prepared statement.

Jose's body was found on Dec. 16, 2011.

Fernandez admitted in court that he hit Jose's head against a pillar of her car and choked her to death. He then buried her in a shallow grave near County Road 7100, which is within the Navajo Nation, Gonzales said.

He attempted to cover-up the crime by driving Jose's vehicle back to her house and texting her phone messages to give himself an alibi, Gonzales said.