- Suspect: Troy Livingston
- Victim: Tyler Lamebear, 19
- Charges: First-degree murder pleaded down to second-degree murder
- Status: Plea to second-degree murder, pending sentencing. Initially Indicted on a charge of first-degree murder
- Sentence: Set for May 17, 2021, Albuquerque Federal Court
- Date of incident: April 6, 2019
- Investigating agency: FBI
- Prosecutor: David Cowen
- Prosecuting agency: U.S. Attorney’s Office
- Plea judge (magistrate): Laura Fashing
- Sentencing judge (district): William Johnson
- Location: 53 Rodeo Road, Breadsprings, Navajo Nation, NM
- County: McKinley County
- Magistrate case number: 19-mj-00971
- District case number: 20-cr-00316
- Pathologist: Lori Proe
On April 6, 2019, Troy Livingston, 18, beat his girlfriend, Tyler Lamebear, to death with his fists, feet and a flashlight after she said she had slept with one of his friends, according to court documents.
On Jan. 29, 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Livingston on a charge of first-degree murder for Lamebear’s death.
On Aug. 4, 2020, he pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with second-degree murder. A virtual sentencing hearing is set for 9:30 a.m., May 17, 2021.
On April 6, 2019, Troy Livingston’s mother, Gertrude Livingston, identified in charging documents as G.L., was at home when her son and his girlfriend, Tyler Lamebear, came home to her Rodeo Road home in Breadsprings, FBI Agent Monty Waldron wrote in a statement of probable cause for Livingston’s arrest.
At 3 a.m., Livingston and his girlfriend, Lamebear, were arguing and Gertrude Livingston could “sense tension” between them, he wrote.
Lamebear is identified as T.L. or “Jane Doe” in charging documents.
“G.L. heard crying from the bedroom and went in to see LIVINGSTON on top of Jane Doe with his fist raised,” Waldron wrote. “G.L. believes Jane Doe had already been hit because she was crying. Livingston told G.L. to get out of the bedroom which she did.”
When she heard more crying, she went into the bedroom and saw her son allegedly stomping his girlfriend with his foot and described the girlfriend as being in a ball, her arms and hands around her head, he wrote.
“Again LIVINGSTON told G.L. to get out, so G.L. left the house,” Waldron wrote. “LIVINGSTON locked the door behind G.L. From outside, G.L. could hear screaming, thumping and banging.”
When it was quiet, the mother went back into the house. She heard wheezing from inside the bedroom door, but did not know who was wheezing, he wrote.
At some point, she called the Navajo Police Department to report a violent “dispute” between Lamebear and her son, he wrote.
About 30 minutes after she went back into the house, Navajo police officers arrived and knocked on the door. When no one answered, they looked through the windows and saw blood on the floor. The mother then opened the door. Officers could see “lots of blood on the floor between the bedroom and the bathroom,” Waldron wrote.
Officers found the girlfriend laying on the floor, covered in blood, badly beaten. They asked her who beat her and she responded, “Troy did this to me.” Livingston was lying on the bed next to this 2-1/2-year-old toddler, who was not harmed, he wrote.
Medics transported the girlfriend to the Gallup Indian Medical Center. She either died at the hospital or before she arrived, he wrote.
“I just got mad and took it too far, way too far,” Livingston said, according to Waldron’s statement of probable cause.
Livingston also allegedly said “I still can’t believe it, I killed her,” he wrote.
“LIVINGSTON stated that he was mad at her for sleeping with his friend as Jane Doe had finally admitted to doing,” Waldron wrote. “LIVINGSTON stated he ‘just started hitting her’ and took it too far. Livingston stated he hit Jane Doe with a flashlight and also used his foot.”
Livingston allegedly said he beat her in the bedroom and bathroom, he wrote.
FBI agents searched the house and found a flashlight with blood on it and photographs of Lamebear showed circular wounds that appeared to be consistent with the end of a flashlight, he wrote.
According to the autopsy report by Lori Proe, Lamebear had multiple “bruises, scrapes and skin tears of the face and scalp” and many of them had a distinctive shape, like that of a flashlight. Her nose was broken and there was bleeding in the deep tissues of her scalp and bleeding over the surface of her brain, which was swollen, “a change that can occur when the organ is damaged and/or deprived of oxygen.”
Multiple ribs were broken and she was bleeding in her chest and what would be a bite mark on her left shoulder, Proe wrote.
According to a deputy field investigation by Harolynn Yazzie, she was covered in dried blood and her clothing was soaked in blood.
The indictment and plea
On Aug. 4, 2020, Livingston pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with second-degree murder for beating Lamebear to death.
According to the plea deal signed by prosecutor David Cowen, Livingston will be entitled to a two-level reduction in the federal sentencing guidelines, although where that puts his sentence is unknown pending the outcome of a pre-sentence report.
According to the minutes, Magistrate Judge Laura Fashing asked why the plea needed to be held so soon, and made findings as to why the plea hearing was held, but not what those findings were. The final acceptance of the plea was deferred until the sentencing hearing in front of a district court judge.
A sentencing hearing is set for Nov. 12, 2020.
According to the federal sentencing table, with little or no criminal history, that puts Livingston’s proposed sentence, sans any increases or decreases, at 16 to 20 years. At a base offense level of 38, the range increases to 20 to 24 years.
According to New Mexico and federal court records, Livingston has one past criminal case, for intoxicated driving and child endangerment from March 2019. Prosecutors dismissed that the case at the magistrate level, without prejudice, on May 8, 2019 in a form dismissal and wrote that Livingston was in federal custody for “an alleged capital offense.” His past arrests or convictions in tribal court is unknown.