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Press Release

Chinle Woman Sentenced to 20 Years for Killing Her Infant Daughter on the Navajo Reservation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

     PHOENIX – Yesterday, Ashley Attson, 23, of Chinle, Ariz., an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David C. Campbell to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for killing her 17-month-old daughter.


     Attson previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The facts showed that she put her child in a stroller, pushed her into the desert, and left the child for four days and nights.  Over the next few days, she met friends for ice cream and posted pictures of herself on Facebook. When she returned, the child was dead. Two days after finding her deceased child, Attson returned for the body, put it into a trash bag, and buried it in an animal hole. The child was born with methamphetamine in her system and had been in the custody of tribal social services throughout most of her life. Attson regained custody of her child approximately two months before the homicide.


     When announcing the 20-year sentence, Judge Campbell said that this was an “intentional, cold-hearted, horrendous killing of an innocent child.”


     The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Navajo Nation Department of Law Enforcement. The prosecution was handled by Sharon K. Sexton and Christine Keller, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.



RELEASE NUMBER: 2017-069_Attson


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Updated August 1, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: CR-16-08234-DGC-PCT / 2017-069_Attson