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Press Release

Navajo man in federal court for murder in Indian Country

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

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Quinten Smith, 21, of Mexican Springs, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was charged in federal court on Oct. 4 with murder in Indian Country. Smith will remain in custody pending trial.

​            According to a criminal complaint, on Sept. 24, Smith and others allegedly went to the home of the victim, identified as John Doe, to confront him. When they arrived at the home, a physical altercation allegedly ensued. During the fight, Smith allegedly stabbed the victim multiple times in the back with a pocketknife. Smith and the others allegedly fled the home immediately.

            John Doe, who was also an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was found deceased in his home later that day. The killing occurred on the Navajo Nation.

            A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Smith faces life in prison.

            The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office and the Navajo Police Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.

Updated October 6, 2021

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-200