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Press Release

Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Brandishing a Firearm During a Home Invasion on The Navajo Indian Reservation

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Donovan F. Muskett, 21, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Navajo, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Muskett will be sentenced to seven years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Muskett’s guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough and Director John Billison of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Muskett was arrested on March 1, 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon, using a firearm during a crime of violence and aggravated burglary.  He subsequently was indicted and charged with committing the following offenses in Navajo, N.M., on Feb. 10, 2013:  (1) assault with a dangerous weapon; (2) aggravated burglary; (3) brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence; and (4) negligent child abuse.

According to court records, on Feb. 10, 2013, Muskett forced his way at gunpoint into a Navajo residence occupied by a woman and a young child.  Muskett pointed his firearm at the adult victim, demanded money from her, and threatened to shoot her.  While Muskett was rummaging in the kitchen, the victim managed to push Muskett out of the residence and lock him out.  After ensuring the child victim’s safety, the adult victim called the police and reported the break-in and assault.  Officers were able to locate Muskett by following footsteps in the snow.  Muskett was arrested on tribal charges and remained in tribal custody until his arrest on federal charges.

During this morning’s proceedings, Muskett entered a guilty plea to Count 3 of a superseding indictment charging him with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.   In his plea agreement, Muskett admitted brandishing a .22 caliber revolver while committing a crime of violence.  More specifically, Muskett admitted pointing the firearm at the adult victim with the intention of committing the felony offenses of assault with a dangerous weapon and aggravated battery.

Muskett was remanded into federal custody after entering his guilty plea and will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Window Rock office of the Navajo Division of Public Safety with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Novaline D. Wilson and Kyle T. Nayback.

Updated January 26, 2015