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Press Release

Fruitland Man Sentenced for Brutal Assault on Neighbor

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal judge handed down a 12-month plus one day prison sentence to a Fruitland man for assaulting his neighbor after a long-simmering tension boiled over.

According to publicly available court records, June 27, 2021, Elijah Cudei Etsitty, 27, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, and his family got into a fistfight with their neighbor, Jane Doe’s husband. During the fight, the group pinned Jane Doe’s husband to the ground, where they continued to beat and choke him.

Seeing this, Jane Doe intervened to protect her husband. Etsitty slammed Jane Doe to the ground and struck her until she lost consciousness, causing head and facial injuries, including a skull fracture and resulting seizure activity.

There is no parole in the federal system. Upon his release from prison, Etsitty will be subject to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Shiprock Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Bell is prosecuting the case.

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Updated May 2, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-162