News and Press Releases

Shiprock Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Aiding
Brother who set Fire to Former Girlfriend's Residence

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

August 5, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Christina Thompson, 33, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon to 15 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for aiding and abetting her brother in committing arson.  She also was ordered jointly with her brother to pay $57,415.02 in restitution to the Navajo Housing Authority to pay for damage caused by their criminal conduct.

Christina Thompson and her twin brother Dan Curtis Thompson were arrested in Oct. 2013, on an indictment charging them with maliciously setting fire to an occupied rental unit at the Navajo Housing Authority in Ojo Amarillo, located on the Navajo Indian Reservation, on Jan. 9, 2013.

On Feb. 18, 2014, Dan Thompson pled guilty to the indictment and admitted setting fire to his former girlfriend’s residence on Jan. 9, 2013.  Court filings reflect that Thompson resided in the victim’s apartment until she ejected him following a “forceful physical interaction” with him.  As Thompson’s resentment towards the victim grew, he began putting into place plans to burn her residence.  Christina Thompson drove Thompson to the victim’s residence on Jan. 9, 2013, where he shattered a window so he could unlock the door and enter the residence.  Once inside, Thompson poured gasoline in the residence.  After igniting the gasoline, Thompson fled from the residence with his sister’s assistance.  Thompson admitted that he did not check to see if anyone was in the residence when he lit the fire, and that he burned the victim’s residence to retaliate against her.

Christina Thompson entered a guilty plea to the indictment on April 11, 2014, and admitted helping her brother set fire to the victim’s residence by driving him to the residence.  She also admitted helping her brother flee after he set the victim’s residence on fire.

Dan Thompson was sentenced on June 24, 2014, to 35 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.  Thompson, together with his sister, must pay $57,415.02 in restitution to the Navajo Housing Authority.

This case was investigated by the Shiprock Division of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers.  It was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project 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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