Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
January 27, 2012
PEACH SPRINGS MAN INDICTED ON ASSAULT AND FIREARM CHARGES
PHOENIX– On January 24, 2012, a federal grand jury in Phoenix, Ariz., returned a five-count indictment against Cooper Price Susanyatame, 19, of Peach Springs, Ariz. The indictment charges Susanyatame with violations of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, Use of a Firearm in a Crime of Violence, and Possession of an Unregistered Firearm.
The allegations in the indictment stem from the previously filed complaint, which alleges that on December 25, 2011, on the Hualapai Nation Indian Reservation, Susanyatame fired a short-barreled .22 caliber rifle through the window of a neighboring home. The complaint alleges that, although the bullet missed a juvenile victim who was playing outside near the window at the time Susanyatame shot the gun, the bullet struck an adult victim in the back of the head while she was standing in a hallway inside the home. The adult victim was airlifted to a Las Vegas Hospital, where the bullet was extracted from her scalp.
Convictions for the assault and unregistered firearm offenses carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. A sentence for Use of a Firearm in a Crime of Violence must run consecutive to any other sentence, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hualapai Nation Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by Tracy Van Buskirk, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-12-8012-PCT-PGR
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-016(Susanyatame)
# # #For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az