Federal Jury Finds Shiprock, N.M., Man Guilty on Involuntary Manslaughter, Assault and Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – A federal jury sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., returned a guilty verdict this afternoon against Clay O’Brien Mann, 28, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., on involuntary manslaughter, assault and firearms charges after a five-day trial. The guilty verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales, Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and John Billison, Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
Mann was arrested in July 2010, on a criminal complaint alleging that he killed a Navajo man and assaulted another Navajo man and a Navajo woman with a dangerous weapon on the Navajo Indian Reservation, on July 24, 2010. Mann subsequently was indicted and charged with first degree murder, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily injury, two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and three counts of discharging a firearm in furtherance of an act of violence. Proceedings in the case were delayed by competency proceedings.
Trial of the case began on July 8, 2013, and concluded earlier this afternoon when the jury returned a verdict finding Mann not guilty on the first degree murder charge but guilty on the lesser included charge of involuntary manslaughter. The jury also found Mann guilty on two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury and two counts of discharging a firearm in furtherance of an act of violence. It acquitted Mann on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily injury and the third firearms charge.
The evidence at trial established that, at approximately 4:00 a.m. on July 24, 2010, an inebriated Mann drove his car to his neighbor’s property and launched an artillery shell into the neighbor’s property where the neighbor and his friends were socializing. When Ames Joseph Jim and another man and a woman walked over to see what was going on, Mann fired a semi-automatic rifle at them, shooting Mr. Jim in the face and heart, the other man in the face and the woman in the neck. Mr. Jim died as a result of his injuries and the other two victims sustained serious bodily injury.
Mann has been in federal custody since his arrest in July 2010, and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Mann faces a maximum eight years in prison on the involuntary manslaughter charge and a maximum ten years in prison on each of the two assault charges. Mann also faces a mandatory 35 years in prison on the two firearms charges which must be served consecutive to any prison sentence imposed on the involuntary manslaughter and assault charges.
This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Presiliano A. Torrez.