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Justice News

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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Navajo Man from McKinley County Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Abuse Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – Roland Skeets, 27, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Smith Lake, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to child abuse charges.  Skeets’ plea agreement recommends that he be sentenced to a prison term within the range of 15 to 21 months.


Skeets was arrested in Aug. 2017, on an indictment charging him with child abuse resulting in great bodily injury to a male victim and child abuse endangering a female victim.  According to the indictment, the crimes took place on March 25, 2016, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M. 


During today’s proceedings, Skeets pled guilty to an information charging him with assault resulting in substantial bodily injury.  In entering the guilty plea, Skeets admitted that on March 25, 2016, he assaulted a four-year-old child by pushing the child to the ground and yanking him back up by the arm, which fractured the child’s clavicle.  Skeets acknowledged that at the time he assaulted the child, he was intoxicated.  Skeets further admitted that, after assaulting the child, he continued yelling, causing his girlfriend to flee with the injured child and other children to a neighbor’s house in order to call police.  


Skeets remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.


This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated December 6, 2017