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Press Release

Mentmore, N.M., Woman Sentenced to Sixty-Three Months in Prison for Voluntary Manslaughter Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Bertha Damon, 44, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Mentmore, N.M., was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for her voluntary manslaughter conviction. 

On Sept. 16, 2013, Damon pleaded guilty to a felony information charging her with killing a man by striking him with a piece of firewood on the Navajo Indian Reservation on May 21, 2011.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of any plea agreement.

According to court filings, Damon and the victim, her husband of 24 years, returned to their home after a night of drinking and began arguing.  During the argument, Damon repeatedly struck the victim in the head with a piece of firewood.  The victim died as the result of multiple blunt force traumas to the head.

Damon, who has been on conditions of release since entering her guilty plea, is required to surrender to a federal correctional facility to be designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prison within 60 days.

            This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI, the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and the New Mexico State Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard prosecuted the case.
Updated January 26, 2015