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Press Release

Beclabito, N.M., Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Stanford Benally, 42, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Beclabito, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon to 30 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his involuntary manslaughter conviction.

Benally was arrested on Sept. 11, 2012, on an indictment charging him with second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.  The second degree murder charge alleged that, on May 19, 2012, Benally caused the death of a minor female by serving her liquor and failing to provide care and seek medical attention for her in a manner that evinced a callous and wanton disregard for human life.  The involuntary manslaughter charge alleged that Benally caused the death of the victim, who was unconscious and intoxicated, by negligently failing to provide care or to seek medical assistance for the victim. 

Benally pleaded guilty on March 22, 2013 to an involuntary manslaughter charge and admitted that on May 19, 2012, he killed his daughter by negligently failing to provide care or seeking medical assistance for her even though he knew she was unconscious and intoxicated.  He further admitted that his criminal act took place on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

As required by the plea agreement, the second degree murder charge was dismissed after Benally was sentenced.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer M. Rozzoni and Jack E. Burkhead, and was investigated by the Albuquerque and Farmington offices of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Updated January 26, 2015