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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Jicarilla Apache Man Sentenced to 71 Months for Federal Assault Conviction

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native America Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Shane Lewis Vigil, 29, an enrolled member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation who resides in Dulce, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 71 months in prison for his assault conviction.  Vigil will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Vigil was arrested on July 24, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  According to the complaint, Vigil assaulted his girlfriend, a Jicarilla Apache woman, with an aluminum baseball bat on July 20, 2015.  Law enforcement authorities learned about the assault when a social worker reported that the victim had been admitted to a hospital after being severely beaten with a baseball bat. 

Vigil was indicted on Aug. 12, 2015, and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, an aluminum baseball bat, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  The indictment alleged that Vigil committed the crime on July 20, 2015, on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in Rio Arriba County, N.M. 

On Jan. 26, 2016, Vigil pled guilty to a three-count felony information.  The first two counts charged Vigil with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and arose out of the baseball bat attack on July 20, 2015.  The third count charged Vigil with an assault arising out of an attack on a male victim on Nov. 21, 2014, which caused the victim to suffer serious bodily injury.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raquel Ruiz-Velez and Kyle T. Nayback prosecuted the case. 

This case was brought as part of the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native American women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Updated May 12, 2016