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Press Release

Leupp Man Sentenced to Over 20 Years for Second Degree Murder

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

PHOENIX, Ariz. – On Tuesday, Melvin James, 44, of Leupp, Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes to 246 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. James previously pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder.

On November 17, 2018, James was staying at a residence on the Navajo Nation. That night, James attacked his girlfriend, stabbing her multiple times. She died at the scene from her injuries. When the victim’s father tried to intervene during the attack, James stabbed and seriously injured him as well. James is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation Indian Tribe.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christina Reid-Moore and Jason Crowley, District of Arizona, Phoenix, handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:           19-CR-08019-DLR
RELEASE NUMBER:    2021- 066_James

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Updated October 7, 2021

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 2021-066_James