Mescalero Apache Man Pleads Guilty to
Assault By a Habitual Offender Charges
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address
the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women
ALBUQUERQUE – Lonnie Ray Youngman, 45, pleaded guilty this afternoon in Las Cruces federal court to an indictment charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon and domestic assault by a habitual offender. The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough and DuWayne W. Honahni, Sr., Special Agent in Charge of District IV of BIA’s Office of Justice Services.
Youngman, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., was arrested on July 8, 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he assaulted his domestic partner, a Mescalero Apache woman. Youngman subsequently was indicted and charged with assaulting the victim with a dangerous weapon on Jan. 6, 2012, and assaulting the victim on Jan. 5, 2012. The indictment alleged that Youngman was a habitual domestic offender because he previously had been convicted on domestic assault charges in May 1996 and April 2010.
In entering his guilty plea, Youngman admitted assaulting the victim on Jan. 5, 2012, by striking her with a wooden table leg. He also admitted assaulting the victim on Jan. 6, 2012, by punching, kicking and biting her. Youngman acknowledged that the victim sustained serious bodily injuries, including contusions on the face, scalp, neck and arm, a deviated septum, and bite marks, as a result of the assaults. He further acknowledged committing both assaults within the Mescalero Apache Reservation.
Youngman has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Youngman will be sentenced to 38 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
This case was investigated by the Mescalero Agency of BIA’s Office of Justice Services and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office. 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.