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Press Release

Member of Navajo Nation Sentenced to 120 Months for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Indian Country

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Raydell Billy was sentenced to 90 months in prison for assault with a dangerous weapon in Indian Country and 30 months for violating prior terms of supervised release, with the sentences to run consecutively for a total of 120 months in prison. Billy, 32, of Shiprock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was found guilty of the charge on March 8, 2023, by a federal jury sitting in Albuquerque, New Mexico following a one and a half-day trial. United States District Judge Kea W. Riggs presided.

During the trial, the jury heard evidence that victim John Doe was at his girlfriend’s home with her young child in Shiprock, New Mexico on the evening of April 11, 2022, when Defendant Raydell Billy and two others burst into their home and attacked him. The home is located within the exterior boundaries of the Navajo Nation.  

John Doe’s girlfriend testified that on that evening, Raynorma Billy knocked on the door, and the girlfriend opened the door to let Raynorma in. Immediately after, Raynorma Billy, Raydell Billy, and Alvin White barged their way through, rushed down the hallway of the home, and found John Doe lying down in the bedroom, where they immediately attacked him. His girlfriend further testified that she had been in the hallway struggling with Raynorma Billy when she heard a gunshot and ran into the bedroom to see a gun in Raydell Billy’s hands. White, who participated in the attack, testified that he and Raydell Billy attacked John Doe with the intent to commit bodily harm. He testified that they both hit John Doe and that he also heard the gunshot, which came from over his shoulder, and that Raydell Billy was the only person in the room and was the shooter. Finally, a Navajo Nation criminal investigator testified about finding a bullet hole in the bedroom’s mattress and box spring, and that he collected a bullet fragment as evidence from underneath the bed. The bullet hole’s point of impact was right in front of where John Doe had been standing when the shot was fired. The criminal investigator further testified that John Doe’s car, which was parked outside the home, suffered damage from multiple gunshots and that its windows had been smashed in.

 John Doe, who said he tries to forget about that day, testified about the attack and his fear that he would be shot. He said he was attacked in the bedroom by all three defendants and that it was Raydell Billy who held him at gunpoint with a handgun. John Doe further testified that Raydell Billy fired the gun in his direction. At one point, Raydell Billy began hitting him in the back of the head with the gun.

Raydell Billy, Raynorma Billy, and Alvin White were indicted on May 25, 2022, for the assault. White pleaded guilty and entered into an agreement with the government on February 1, 2023, admitting that he and Raydell Billy assaulted John Doe with a handgun and their fists and that Raydell Billy fired a round from the handgun into the bed. He also agreed to cooperate and provided testimony in the now-concluded trial. A superseding indictment was filed against Raydell Billy and Raynorma Billy on February 22, 2023. Raynorma Billy pleaded guilty on February 28, 2023, to being a conspirator, admitting that she, Raydell Billy, and Alvin White discussed and agreed to assault John Doe.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the Federal Bureau Investigation and by Navajo Nation Office of Criminal Investigations.  It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander F. Flores and Matthew J. McGinley.

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Updated June 14, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-128