Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal DUI-Related Assault Offense
ALBUQUERQUE – This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, Diono H. Pete, 48, entered a guilty plea to a one-count indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. At sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled, Pete faces up to ten years imprisonment and a maximum $250,000 fine. Pete, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Fruitland, New Mexico, remains on conditions of release under pretrial supervise pending his sentencing hearing.
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that the charge against Pete arose out of a collision that occurred on the Navajo Reservation on the evening of October 10, 2010 when a motorcyclist was struck from behind by Pete’s vehicle. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, when Pete’s vehicle collided with the motorcycle, the motorcyclist was thrown into the window of Pete’s vehicle and then rolled off the vehicle. The motorcyclist sustained multiple lacerations to the head and a spinal fracture. Investigation by the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety (NNDPS) revealed no skid marks or other evidence of braking by Pete’s vehicle at the scene of the collision. The investigation also revealed that there was beer in Pete’s vehicle and that Pete had a blood alcohol content of .12 approximately two hours after the collision. During an interview on October 11, 2010, Pete admitted that he had consumed beer before the collision but felt okay to drive and was traveling at a speed of 60 miles per hour when the collision occurred.
In entering his plea, Pete admitted that he assaulted the motorcyclist by driving his vehicle while intoxicated and causing a collision between his vehicle and the motorcycle, and that the motorcyclist sustained serious bodily injury as a result of the collision.
The case was investigated by the NNDPS, Shiprock Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kyle T. Nayback.