Shiprock woman charged with murdering boyfriend's mother
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that Shiprock resident Pamela Navasie, 41, appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Alan C. Torgerson on a criminal complaint charging her with second degree murder. If convicted on the offense charged in the complaint, Navasie faces up to life imprisonment. Magistrate Judge Torgerson ordered Navasie temporarily detained pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on January 13, 2011.
Navasie, who claims to be an Indian of Navajo and Hopi descent, is alleged to have murdered Lena Hayes, a Navajo woman who was the mother of Navasie’s boyfriend. According to the criminal complaint, the alleged homicide arose out of a domestic dispute in the Shiprock residence shared by Ms. Hayes, her husband, Perry Hayes, Sr., her son, Perry Hayes, Jr. and Navasie. The complaint alleges that, on the morning of January 11, 2011, Navasie and Perry Hayes, Jr., had an argument, and Perry Hayes, Sr., took his son out of the residence to calm him leaving the two women alone in the residence. When the men returned shortly before noon, they found Ms. Hayes’ bloody body on the floor and called the authorities. Officers of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety (NNDPS) arrived at the residence and found Ms. Hayes dead with a stab wound to the neck and a large kitchen knife that appeared to have blood on its blade.
The complaint alleges that, when NNDPS officers located Navasie and brought her in for questioning, Navasie told the officers that she stabbed Ms. Hayes in the neck with a kitchen knife to make her stop talking. The officers who interviewed Navasie observed apparent blood stains on Navasie’s hands and clothing.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NNDPS, Shiprock Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles L. Barth.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.