Shiprock man admits to murdering his friend by beating him to death

Nine-year prison sentence recommended in plea agreement

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Simeon Atcitty, 38, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder during an April 8 hearing in Albuquerque federal court, according to a U.S. Department of Justice.
  • He confessed to beating an unidentified male friend on June 19 at a residence on the Navajo Nation, within San Juan County, according to court documents.
  • A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled for Atcitty.

FARMINGTON — A Shiprock man has pleaded guilty in federal court to beating his friend to death after the friend said something that upset him.

Simeon Atcitty, 38, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder during an April 8 hearing in Albuquerque federal court, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

He confessed to beating an unidentified man on June 19 at a residence on the Navajo Nation, within San Juan County, according to court documents.

The press release states Atcitty is a Shiprock resident but there is no address or city listed for the defendant’s residence in court documents.

He was indicted on Sept. 10 by a grand jury and was arrested on Sept. 23. Atcitty has been held in federal custody since his arrest.

There was no information listed in the defendant’s Sept. 10 indictment about the crime, but the plea agreement filed on April 8 includes Atcitty’s confession of the murder.

Atcitty wrote he was drinking alcohol with his friend, referred to as John Doe, at the defendant’s residence. John Doe said something to Atcitty that upset him, according to the Department of Justice.

"I struck John Doe repeatedly in the head and chest in anger, seriously hurting John Doe,” Atcitty wrote in the plea agreement.

The defendant admitted to continuing to beat his friend until he stopped moving.

The victim suffered had 10 fractured ribs and died from blunt force trauma to the chest, according to court documents.

Atcitty wrapped up his friend’s body and left him in the residence, he then took time to tell his ex-girlfriend that he killed someone.

The body was discovered by law enforcement about a week later.

The press release states Atcitty faces up to life in prison, but the plea agreement states the prosecution and defense recommend a nine-year federal prison sentence.

A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled for Atcitty.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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