ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Mundo Charles Barela, 19, of Mescalero, New Mexico, pleaded guilty on Jan. 6 in federal court to voluntary manslaughter in Indian country.
In the plea agreement, Barela admitted to stabbing a man on the evening of July 20, 2020, during a quarrel and “in the heat of passion.” Barela stabbed the victim several times in the victim’s throat, chest and abdomen. The victim was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The attack took place on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation and the victim was an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe.
Barela will remain in custody pending sentencing. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan is prosecuting the case.