News and Press Releases

Navajo Man Receives 22-Month Prison Sentence for Assaulting Minister on the Navajo Reservation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE – Today in federal court in Albuquerque, William Skeet, 20, was sentenced to a 22-month term of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release based on his federal assault conviction.  Skeet also was ordered to pay $1,927.20 in restitution to the victim of his assault and $361.15 to Rehobeth McKinley Christian Health Care in Gallup, New Mexico.  Skeet, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pinedale, New Mexico, has been in federal custody since his arrest on May 8, 2009.

United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said Skeet was charged after he assaulted a minister who was driving around the Navajo Reservation and picking up people for a party at the Morning Star Baptist Church on March 28, 2009.  According to the criminal complaint, prior to the date of the assault, the victim of Skeet’s assault had observed Skeet teaching a pit bull to be aggressive, and reported the incidence to Skeet’s father.  Skeet’s father responded by taking the pit bull away from Skeet.  On March 28, 2009, when the victim was turning his church van around in the vicinity of Skeet’s home, Skeet ran up to the van, stood on the running board and truck the victim with his closed left fist.  Witnesses reported that, after striking the victim in the face, Skeet attempted forcibly to pull the victim out of the van but was unable to do so because the victim accelerated the van and left the area.  Medical providers determined that, as a result of Skeet’s assault, the victim sustained a broken orbital bone and would require surgery to repair the bone and reset the eyeball. 

The complaint alleges that, when interviewed about the assault on April 22, 2009, Skeet said that his pit bulls had been taken away after the victim told Skeet’s father that he did not think Skeet and his friends should be fighting pit bulls.  Skeet admitted punching the victim in the face and trying to pull him out of the van.  Skeet also threatened to “finish beating” the victim if he ever saw him again.

After being arrested by the federal bon May 8, 2009 on a criminal complaint, Skeet was indicted for an assault resulting in serious bodily injury on July 7, 2009.  He entered a guilty plea to the indictment under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Presiliano Torrez.
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Elizabeth M. Martinez
Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney|Public Affairs Officer
United States Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico
P.O. Box 607
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Telephone:  (505) 224-1469
Cellphone:  (505) 239-4060
Facsimile:   (505) 346-7205
E-mail:  elizabeth.martinez@usdoj.gov

(Download Criminal Complaint adobe icon)

 

 

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