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Press Release

Mesa Man Sentenced to Over 20 Years in Federal Prison for Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault Related to Drunk Driving

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

     PHOENIX – On Sept. 19, 2017, Hale Nahsonhoya, 22, of Mesa, Ariz., and a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow to 250 months in prison (20 years and 10 months) followed by five years of supervised release.  Nahsonhoya had previously pleaded guilty to second degree murder and aggravated assault.


     The case involved Nahsonhoya driving his vehicle with extreme, reckless disregard for human life, causing a multi-vehicle crash.  As a result of Nahsonhoya’s actions, one man, who was driving his car to church band practice, was killed instantly.  A woman in a third vehicle was seriously injured, hospitalized, and suffered long-term injuries.   


     This incident happened on a busy intersection on the Salt River Indian Reservation, McKellips and Longmore Roads in Scottsdale, Ariz.  At approximately 4:45 p.m., in rush hour traffic, Nahsonhoya was driving his vehicle with his juvenile brother as a passenger.  Nahsonhoya had a blood alcohol content of over .215.  He was driving in excess of 85 MPH in a 35 MPH zone.  Just before the crash, Nahsonhoya sped his vehicle to ignore and race through a stop sign.  He did not attempt to stop his vehicle even seconds prior to impact. 


     The wife of the deceased victim came to court and paid tribute to her husband of 30 years, highlighting for Judge Snow her husband’s kind-hearted, selfless, and loving life.  She explained to Judge Snow the devastation caused by her husband’s death. 


     The investigation in this case was conducted by the Salt River Police Department.  The prosecution was handled by Heather Sechrist and Sharon K. Sexton, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


CASE NUMBER:            CR-17-0047-PHX-GMS 

RELEASE NUMBER:    2017-091_ Nahsonhoya


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Updated September 20, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: CR-17-0047-PHX-GMS / 2017-091_ Nahsonhoya