Navajo Man from Farmington Pleads Guilty to Federal Voluntary Manslaughter and Firearms Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Sage Andrew Yazzie, 21, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Farmington, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to voluntary manslaughter and firearms charges. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Yazzie will be sentenced within the range of 12 to 15 years in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Yazzie was arrested on March 10, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with killing a Navajo man on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M., on Feb. 23, 2016. According to the criminal complaint, Yazzie entered a residence and shot the victim in the head with a firearm.
Yazzie was indicted on March 23, 2016, and charged with first degree murder and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. According to the indictment, Yazzie committed the offenses on Feb. 23, 2016, in San Juan County.
During today’s proceedings, Yazzie pled guilty to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. In entering the guilty plea, Yazzie admitted that on Feb. 23, 2016, he entered a residence in Huerfano, N.M., and killed the victim during a sudden quarrel by shooting the victim with a handgun. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI, the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and the Farmington Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raquel Ruiz-Velez and Elaine Y. Ramirez.