Man gets prison for killing of Arizona tribal member

Tucson, Arizona (AP) July 2011

A man has been sentenced to 171/2 years in federal prison for fatally shooting the brother of the Pascua Yaqui tribe’s former chairwoman.

Federal prosecutors say 21-year-old Gerardo Benito Ramirez pleaded guilty March 22 to second-degree murder in a plea deal.

He was sentenced 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. 

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

They 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.