News and Press Releases

Navajo, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty to Federal
Voluntary Manslaughter Charge

Defendant Admits Killing Two-Year-Old Child in Heat of Passion

July 18, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Mervin Ervin Charley, 33, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Navajo, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a voluntary manslaughter charge.  Under the terms of the plea agreement, Charley will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Charley was arrested on Jan. 21, 2014, based on an indictment charging him with second degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.  According to the indictment, Charley killed a two-year-old child on May 30, 2013, by placing the victim in a situation that endangered the victim and resulted in the victim’s death.

Today, Charley entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter, and admitted killing the victim in the heat of passion on May 30, 2013.

Charley has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback.

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