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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

MAN FROM ZUNI PUEBLO SENTENCED TO 79 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER AND ASSAULT RESULTING IN SERIOUS BODILY INJURY IN INDIAN COUNTRY

ALBUQUERQUE – Vernon Poleahla, 34, of Zuni, N.M., was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 79 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter and assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country. 

Poleahla previously pleaded guilty to these offenses on September 26, 2018.  According to Poleahla’s plea agreement, he committed these offenses following an argument on April 27, 2018.  Poleahla choked the first victim and stabbed him in the neck causing serious bodily injury.  When the second victim intervened to assist the first victim, Poleahla stabbed the second victim in the stomach causing his death.  Poleahla is an enrolled member of Zuni Pueblo.       

           The Gallup office of the FBI investigated the case with assistance from the Zuni Police Department.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison C. Jaros prosecuted the case.  

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 
19-71
Updated May 30, 2019