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Press Release

Navajo Man from Buffalo Springs Sentenced to Prison for Federal Voluntary Manslaughter Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Jay Barton, 48, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Buffalo Springs, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 97 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his voluntary manslaughter conviction. 

Barton was arrested on Aug. 26, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with killing a Navajo man on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M., on Aug. 21, 2015.  The crime occurred during an argument between Barton and the victim while Barton and the victim were drinking alcoholic beverages.  Barton was subsequently indicted on a voluntary manslaughter charge on Sept. 22, 2015.

On Jan. 28, 2016, Barton pled guilty to the indictment charging him with voluntary manslaughter.  In entering the guilty plea, Barton admitted killing the victim by stabbing him in the chest, abdomen and back during an argument that became physical.  According to the plea agreement, both Barton and the victim were intoxicated when Barton committed the crime.

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Updated June 23, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime