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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Navajo Man from Farmington Sentenced to Twelve Years for Federal Voluntary Manslaughter and Firearms Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Sage Andrew Yazzie, 21, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Farmington, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 144 months in prison for his conviction on voluntary manslaughter and firearms charges.  Yazzie will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

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 was charged with first-degree murder and with 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.

On June 14, 2017, 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. 

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI, the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and the Farmington Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raquel Ruiz-Velez and Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated February 1, 2018