Man sentenced to 14 years in prison for deadly Big-I shooting

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Almost four years after a random deadly shooting at the Big-I, the man who pulled the trigger now knows how much time he’ll spend in prison.

Donald Duquette was convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting that killed an innocent driver.

“The court at this time is going to send it to 13 years in the Department of Corrections. I’m going to also impose the one-year mandatory for your one-year prior enhancement for a total-your total sentence of 14 years,” said District Court Judge Courtney Weaks. 

Duquette sat stoically as the judge sentenced him to prison.  

“He was by himself. He was unarmed. He was just trying to get home that night, and he was shot in the head by you,” said Weaks. 

It was July 2019 when Duquette fired multiple shots from his Chevy pickup near the Big-I.  One of those shots struck Jose Diaz in the head and killed him. 

A day later, Duquette turned himself in, saying he shot Diaz during a drug-fueled delusion. He believed Diaz was going to kidnap his friend and sell her for heroin.

Prior to sentencing, Duquette’s sister and son addressed the court. 

“He didn’t get all the mental health or the therapy that he needed from his work, a paramedic company. And I really believe that’s what’s led him to depression and suffering from PTSD,” said Kayla Cazares. 

“Growing up with a father, like my father, just gives me that motivation and that kind of pat on the back. You’re doing good, you’re being a, you know, something, someone to look up to,” said Matthew Duquette, Donald’s son. 

Duquette himself asked the judge one last time to consider leniency. 

“I’m sorry that things happened the way they did, I wish I could do anything I could do to change it. I would. I’m sorry about the people that have been hurt by my actions. I just hope that I can have some leniency to be able to do and go out back into the world, and do something good with the rest of my life,” said Duquette. 

Police say he was armed with four handguns, ammunition, and a bullet-proof vest at the time of the shooting. 

“I agree that the level of paranoia is probably what led you to believing that this was a incident of threat,” said Weaks. “For the rest of your life, you are going to have to, as you have for the last four years, wake up every morning with the knowledge that you took away the life of another human being.”