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.