Mescalero Apache Man Sentenced on Federal Assault Conviction
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women
ALBUQUERQUE – David Charles Prins, 47, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation, was sentenced in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 39 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his assault conviction.
Prins was arrested on April 24, 2015, on a criminal complaint that charged him with assault by striking resulting in serious bodily injury. According to the complaint, on Sept. 19, 2014, security guards at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Hotel responded to a disturbance in Prins’ hotel room, where they found Prins in bloody clothes and the victim unconscious on the floor covered in blood. The victim suffered facial swelling and a lacerated ear, which required suturing.
Prins was subsequently charged by indictment on June 17, 2015, with assault resulting in serious bodily injury which occurred on Sept. 19, 2014, in Otero County, N.M. On Oct. 13, 2015, Prins entered a guilty plea to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.
This case was investigated by the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.
The case was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico, which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.