Man sentenced to 76 years in prison for Attempted First Degree Murder of NPS Employee

Rock pinnacles are the result of the erosion of compacted volcanic ash from the eruption of an ancient volcano just south of Chiricahua National Monument.
Gil Gaxiola was sentenced to serve 76 years in prison for attempted murder and other crimes after he attacked an NPS employee of Chiricahua National Monument.

NPS photo by K Hooper.

News Release Date: April 18, 2017

Contact: NPS Investigative Services Branch, (202) 379-4761

The man who attacked a National Park Service employee in Chiricahua National Monument has been sentenced to serve 76 years in prison. The sentence was handed down yesterday in Cochise County court. Gil Gaxiola, age 33, was convicted in March of Attempted First Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, three counts of Aggravated Assault, Kidnapping, and motor vehicle theft. 
The charges stemmed from an incident in August 2013, when Gaxiola assaulted a park employee. Gaxiola used a large rock to inflict serious and life-threatening injuries then stole the employee's assigned work vehicle. The employee was airlifted to an area trauma center for critical care.

The National Park Service extends sincere thanks to all who worked tirelessly to ensure justice for the victim and her family.
Special Agents of the NPS Investigative Services Branch collaborated with detectives of the Cochise County Sheriff's Office on the case, which was prosecuted by the Cochise County Attorney's Office. Other agencies that significantly contributed to the detection, apprehension, and successful prosecution of Gaxiola include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Laboratory. 

"We are hopeful that the conclusion of this trial helps Karen Gonzales and her family find some closure with this tragic incident," said Superintendent Allen Etheridge of Chiricahua National Monument, "and we remain supportive of Karen as she continues to recover from her injuries." 

The National Park Service is dedicated to ensuring every victim or witness to a crime that occurs within its community is treated with dignity and respect. Through victim-witness assistance, those impacted by crime are informed of their legal rights and provided with support and services throughout the continuum of care. 

ISB: the Investigative Services Branch of the National Park Service
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Last updated: April 18, 2017