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Press Release

Crownpoint Woman Sentenced to 30 months in Prison for Involuntary Manslaughter

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Ryntana Yazzie was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Yazzie, 34, of Crownpoint, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Nov. 2, 2023.

According to publicly available court documents, on August 4, 2020, Yazzie had been drinking alcohol and was driving south on Highway 371 outside Farmington when her vehicle veered into oncoming traffic and struck a semi-truck driven by John Doe, who was driving northbound. Yazzie crossed the center line into John Doe’s truck and did not brake prior to the crash. John Doe attempted to veer to the right to avoid Yazzie. The impact occurred head on, slightly off center.

John Doe died at the scene of the crash. OMI determined John Doe suffered from blunt force trauma to the head and neck. He suffered hemorrhage in the neck and head which would have been nearly immediately fatal.

Yazzie suffered a broken left arm and a broken leg from the crash and was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center before she was flown to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

Upon her release from prison, Yazzie will be subject to 3 years of supervised release.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Department of Investigation and Department of Criminal Investigations and the New Mexico State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.

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Updated March 8, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-99