Stallings Convicted of Murder

Rick Stallings

With a guilty verdict of 1st Degree Murder, Rick Stallings is facing a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.

From the San Juan Co. Sheriff's Office:

Rick Stallings was found guilty this morning in District Court of 1st Degree Murder (Willful & Deliberate), Aggravated Burglary with a Deadly Weapon (2nd Degree Felony) and three 4th Degree Felonies; the Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle, Theft of a Firearm and Theft of a Credit Card. Stallings is currently pending trial for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon and Battery on a Peace Officer. With a guilty verdict of 1st Degree Murder, Stallings is facing a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.
On October 1st of 2015, Karen Cugnini was found murdered in her own home. San Juan County Sheriff’s Office immediately began an investigation with Detective Robbins leading the way. After a lengthy two years of investigating and prolonged court proceedings, in which Stallings chose to represent himself, justice was finally served. 
Undersheriff Ferrari is quoted saying, “Stallings is no longer a threat to our community, thanks to the great work of Detective Robbins, the entire SJCSO Detectives Division and the District Attorney’s Office. We hope the Cugnini family has some peace and relief with the guilty verdict.” 
The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone that assisted with this case and we would also like to thank the family of Karen Cugnini for staying strong and dealing with Stallings during the trial.

More from Local News

  • School Threat nets 2 Arrests

         In partnership with Bloomfield Police Department, both suspects were arrested and charged with interference with the educational process, a petty misdemeanor. The 19-year-old suspect had two active warrants at the time of his arrest; failure to appear on a Felony distribution charge and failure to appear for traffic violations. Two cell phones, a laptop, phone records and social media accounts from both suspects are currently being seized and investigated. 

  • Body Found after Shiprock Fire

    The fire on Mesa Farm Road 4th Lane South was reported early Thursday morning.  The body of an unknown male was discovered inside the trailer. The cause of death is pending an autopsy. Anyone with information on the victim's identity is asked to contact the FBI at 505-889-1300.

  • Precautions to Take Against the Flu

    The best things to do to keep yourself well are to get a flu shot and wash your hands. If you are sick, please do not come to visit patients at the hospital and leave children under 14 at home so they do not get sick.

  • One Killed, 3 Hurt in US 550 Crash

    The driver Mr. Burgess Cayaditto (33) of Cuba, NM and two of the passengers were were transported to San Juan Regional Hospital with injuries.  Mr. Charles Martinez (44) of Nageezi, NM sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.

  • Child Dies in Septic Tank Accident

    The San Juan County Sheriff's Office and the Riaski family want everyone to know the dangers of septic tanks and the necessity of proper coverage. Ryder's mom Cassandra does not want another family to go through the loss she is currently suffering.

  • Couple Arrested for DWI after Pursuit & Roadblock

    The suspect continued driving at a slow speed towards a busy intersection.   The second State Police officer knew if the driver did not stop, and entered the intersection, the vehicle would likely be hit by traffic traveling in the opposite direction and the children would sustain serious and potentially life threatening injuries. Just before the vehicle entered the intersection, the second State Police officer made the decision to place his marked patrol unit in the path of the suspects' vehicle to prevent it from entering the intersection. The suspect did not stop and impacted the State Poli

On KSJE Now:

Today's Weather

  • Farmington, NM

    Light rain

    High: 54°F | Low: 21°F

  • Durango, CO

    Heavy snow

    High: 43°F | Low: 12°F

  • Shiprock, NM

    Sunny intervals

    High: 55°F | Low: 19°F

  • Cortez, CO

    Light rain

    High: 46°F | Low: 14°F

  • Santa Fe, NM

    Heavy snow

    High: 50°F | Low: 21°F