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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Arizona

Monday, June 18, 2018

Chinle Man Sentenced to Prison for Reckless Killing on Navajo Nation

     PHOENIX – Today, Sanjay Nelson, 25, of Chinle, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for recklessly killing a man on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation.  Nelson had previously pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. 

     The incident occurred on May 1, 2017, when Nelson’s sawed-off shotgun accidentally discharged as the victim was handing the firearm back to Nelson.  The victim died as a result of injuries sustained from the gunshot wound.  Both Nelson and the victim were enrolled member of the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation. 

     The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The prosecution was handled by Christine Ducat Keller, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


CASE NUMBER:            CR-17-8312-PHX-JJT

RELEASE NUMBER:    2018-086_Nelson


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Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 
2018-086_Nelson / CR-17-8312-PHX-JJT
Updated June 18, 2018