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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 15, 2019

FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS NAVAJO MAN FROM CROWNPOINT ON FEDERAL ASSAULT AND FIREARM CHARGES ARISING FROM DRIVE-BY SHOOTING THAT INJURED TWO NAVAJO CHILDREN

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal grand jury sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., returned an indictment yesterday charging Eli Frank Woody, 25, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Crownpoint, N.M., with federal assault and firearm charges arising out of a July 18, 2019 drive-by shooting that injured two Navajo children. 

The three-count indictment charges Woody with two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury to a child, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.  According to the indictment, Woody assaulted and seriously injured two minor children on July 18, 2019, in Indian County in McKinley County, N.M.  The indictment also alleges that Woody used and discharged a firearm to assault the two minor victims, causing them to suffer serious bodily injury.  Woody is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on Aug. 21, 2019, in federal court in Albuquerque. 

Woody was arrested on July 24, 2019, on federal charges arising out of the July 18, 2019 incident which were set forth in a criminal complaint that was filed on July 19, 2019.  According to the criminal complaint, on July 18, 2019, Woody allegedly fired a shotgun from a vehicle, in which he was a passenger, into a residence, injuring two Navajo children who were inside the residence.  The residence was located in Crownpoint, which is located within the Navajo Indian Reservation.  The complaint stated that the children were transported to a hospital for medical care and survived the shooting.

Woody has been released to a halfway house under pretrial supervision pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled. 

If convicted on the charges in the indictment, Woody faces up to ten years on each of the assault charges, and a mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life imprisonment on the firearms charge that must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the assault charges. 

Charges in criminal complaints and indictment are only allegations.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Cowen.

Press Release Number: 
19-128
Updated August 15, 2019