A Riverton man was convicted on Feb.16 by a federal jury of first-degree murder and using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The trial lasted five days and was held before U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson in Cheyenne.

Francis James Acebo Jr., age 34, of Riverton, Wyoming, was indicted by a federal grand jury and pleaded not guilty to the charges in May 2023. According to evidence presented at trial and witnesses to the crime, Acebo entered the victim’s Riverton residence in the morning of Mar. 25, 2023, and shot the victim in the back of the head.

Sentencing has been set for May 6, 2024. Acebo faces a mandatory life sentence for the first-degree murder conviction, another 10 years to life imprisonment for the firearm offense, and up to $500,000 in fines.

A federal district court judge will determine and impose the sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Special agents with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI investigated this crime. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kerry Jacobsen and T.J. Forwood prosecuted the case.

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