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Press Release

Fruitland Man Sentenced to Two Years for Involuntary Manslaughter

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – 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 Vern A. Anderson was sentenced to 24 months in prison. Anderson, 40, of Fruitland, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty on May 17, 2022, to involuntary manslaughter. 

According to the plea agreement and court records, on Sept. 26, 2021, after hours of drinking together, Anderson got into a physical altercation with his brother, identified as John Doe in court documents, at a residence in Nenahnezad, New Mexico. Anderson stabbed his brother in the back, chest, and head a total of five times. John Doe suffered multiple defensive wounds on his hands and arms in the violent attack and succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

Upon his release from prison, Anderson faces three 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 Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Alexander F. Flores prosecuted the case.

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Updated June 7, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-124