Mescalero Apache Man Sentenced to Thirty-Three Months in Federal Prison for Assault Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE – Paul Francis Hicks, 50, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., was sentenced in Las Cruces federal court this morning to 33 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release for his assault convictions.
Hicks was arrested in March 2012, on a complaint alleging assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. He subsequently was indicted on the same two charges.
Hicks pleaded guilty in Dec. 2012, to assaulting a Mescalero Apache woman by slashing her hand with a large hunting knife at the Mescalero Tribal Offices on March 1, 2012. As a result of the assault, the victim suffered tendon and nerve damage that required surgery to repair. Hicks entered his guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.
Court filings reflect that on March 1, 2012, Hicks provoked an argument with the victim, who worked at the Mescalero Tribal Offices. During the argument, Hicks drew a 12-inch hunting knife out of his jacket and threatened to kill the victim. When Hicks attempted to slash the victim’s face, the victim attempted to defend herself by blocking the knife with her left hand. In so doing, the victim sustained a large laceration across the palm of her left hand.
Although Hicks fled from the scene of the assault, he was apprehended by BIA police officers later that day and was taken into tribal custody, where he remained until he was arrested on federal charges on March 20, 2012.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordon of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.