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Press Release

Gallup Man Sentenced to 72 Months for Voluntary Manslaughter Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Melvyn Lee Morgan, 31, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Gallup, N.M., was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison for his voluntary manslaughter conviction.  He will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Morgan and co-defendant Danny Dan Don Brown, 27, a Navajo man from Church Rock, N.M., were charged in a criminal complaint in Dec. 2011, with murdering a third Navajo man on Dec. 3, 2011.  According to the complaint, the murder occurred in Church Rock, which is located in the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Brown and Morgan were arrested on Dec. 27, 2011, and have been in federal custody since that time.  The two were indicted on Jan. 24, 2012, and charged with second degree murder.  

According to court records, late on the night of Dec. 3, 2011, Morgan, Brown and the victim had a fight after drinking alcohol.  During the fight, Morgan and Brown repeatedly kicked and punched the victim, who died as a result of injuries he sustained.

Brown pled guilty to second degree murder on Feb. 5, 2013, and was sentenced in June 2013, to 162 months (13.5 years) in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Yesterday Morgan pled guilty to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter.  In this plea agreement, Morgan admitted that on Dec. 3, 2011, he fought with Brown and the victim after drinking alcohol.  Morgan noticed that the victim was having difficulty breathing following the fight and left the scene of the fight to seek aid for the victim.  However, the victim died before Morgan returned to the scene with police officers.

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI, the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers prosecuted the case.

Updated January 26, 2015