Skip to main content
Press Release

Acoma Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Domestic Assault by a Habitual Offender Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Darrell Chino, Jr., 34, an enrolled member of Acoma Pueblo who resides in Acomita, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a domestic assault by a habitual offender charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Chino will be sentenced within the range of 33 to 57 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Chino was arrested on Sept. 23, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with domestic assault of an intimate partner by a habitual offender on Aug. 18, 2015, in Cibola County, N.M.  According to the complaint, on Aug. 18, 2015, Chino assaulted an Acoma Pueblo woman by placing his hands around the victim’s throat, shoving her to the ground and attempting to kick her.  Chino was subsequently indicted on the same charge on Sept. 22, 2015.  Court records indicate that Chino had previously been convicted of assault against a household member in 2011 and 2012, in the 2nd Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico.

During today’s proceedings, Chino pled guilty to a felony information charging him with domestic assault by a habitual offender and admitted that on Aug. 18, 2015, he assaulted his intimate partner by grabbing her throat and throwing her to the ground causing her to suffer bodily injury.  Chino committed the crime in Acoma Pueblo in Cibola County.  Chino also acknowledged that he had at least two prior domestic assault convictions.  Chino remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Laguna/Acoma Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Acoma Pueblo Tribal Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Mease.

The case 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.

Updated April 7, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice