News and Press Releases

Ojo Amarillo Woman Pleads Guilty to
Using a Firearm During an Assault

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address
the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE – Perfinna King, 34, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Ojo Amarillo, N.M., pleaded guilty to using a firearm during a crime of violence.  Under the terms of her plea agreement, King will be sentenced to six years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and Director John Billison of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

King was arrested in April 2012, based on a criminal complaint charging her with assaulting her domestic partner, another Navajo woman, with a knife and a pistol on April 6, 2012.  King subsequently was indicted and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.  Prosecution of this case was delayed by competency proceedings.

According to court filings, in the early hours of April 6, 2012, King had an argument with the victim during which King stabbed the victim in the leg in a residence located in the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Although the victim tried to get away from King by hiding in a bathroom, King dragged the victim out of the bathroom and stabbed her again.  Thereafter, King shot the victim in the leg as the victim ran out of the residence in an effort to get away from King.  The victim was treated for multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound on her leg.

During today’s proceedings, King entered a guilty plea to Count 3 of the indictment and admitted using a firearm during an assault she committed on April 6, 2012.  King has been in federal custody and remains detained pending her sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Presiliano A. Torrez.

The case was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women, and seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

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