NIXON, Nev. (TCD) -- A jury convicted a 36-year-old man this week of stabbing his pregnant girlfriend on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation in late 2020.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada, a jury found Michael Burciaga guilty of first-degree murder within Indian Country, a violation of the Protection of Unborn Children Act, and domestic assault by a habitual offender within Indian Country in connection with the death of his girlfriend and their unborn child.
On Dec. 15, 2020, shortly after midnight, the Pyramid Lake Police Department responded to an emergency call from the victim's 15-year-old daughter. At the scene, officers found the female victim, a registered member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, deceased from apparent stab wounds inside the master bathroom, the Attorney's Office said.
Officers reportedly located Burciaga outside the home with a laceration on his hand, and he said, "I already know what happened, and I know what I did, which is why I slit my wrist."
According to the Attorney's Office, officers bandaged Burciaga's hand and transported him to a hospital via ambulance, during which he admitted that the victim was pregnant with his child.
The Attorney's Office said investigators determined Burciaga "stabbed the victim with multiple knives during a domestic violence incident."
Burciaga is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 25 and faces a minimum sentence of life in prison.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich said, "Native Americans face particularly high rates of violence, including intimate partner violence."