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Press Release

Navajo Man From Arizona Sentenced to Forty-Six Months for Assaulting Federally Commissioned Tribal Officer

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Donovan Eric Williams, 24, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Whippoorwill, Ariz., was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for assaulting a federal officer, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough and Director John Billison of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Williams was arrested on April 24, 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon.  According to the complaint, Williams assaulted a Sergeant of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety by deliberately veering his vehicle into her police vehicle on March 21, 2013, near Church Rock, N.M.  Williams subsequently was indicted and charged with assaulting a federal officer who was engaged in the performance of her official duties because the tribal officer possessed a Special Law Enforcement Commission from the BIA at the time of the assault. 

On Oct. 21, 2013, Williams pled guilty to the indictment and admitted intentionally assaulting a federal officer on March 21, 2013.  In his plea agreement, Williams acknowledged that, at the time of the assault, he was being pursued by a tribal officer who was attempting to pull his vehicle over and the federal officer was approaching him from the opposite direction.  Williams admitted intentionally striking the federal officer’s vehicle even though the officer had pulled her marked police vehicle off to the side of the road to avoid a collision.   Williams subsequently learned that the officer was commissioned as a federal law enforcement officer at the time of the assault.

This case was investigated by the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard.

Updated January 26, 2015