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Press Release

Jicarilla Apache Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Abuse Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Fawn Lynnstar Vigil, 30, an enrolled member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation who resides in Dulce, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a child abuse charge.

Vigil was charged on Jan. 26, 2016, in a two-count indictment with (1) child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, and (2) child abuse by operating a motor vehicle recklessly on April 13, 2012, in Indian Country in Rio Arriba County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Vigil entered a guilty plea to Count two of the indictment charging her with child abuse. In her plea agreement, Vigil admitted that on April 13, 2012, she negligently operated a motor vehicle recklessly within the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation at an excessive speed, causing the vehicle to leave the roadway and roll-over.  Vigil admitted that her actions endangered the life and health of a Jicarilla Apache child who was in the vehicle.

At sentencing, Vigil faces a maximum of three years in federal prison followed by up to one year of supervised release.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department and the New Mexico State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Michael Spindle is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 25, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice