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Press Release

Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Involuntary Manslaughter Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Rob Begay, 24, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Twin Lakes, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to an indictment charging him with involuntary manslaughter. 

Begay was arrested on Dec. 2, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with involuntary manslaughter.   Begay was indicted on Dec. 17, 2015, and was charged with killing a Navajo woman on Nov. 28, 2015, while driving under the influence of alcohol.  According tot the indictment, Begay committed the crime on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Begay pled guilty to the indictment and admitted killing the victim by driving recklessly while under the influence of alcohol.  Begay admitted that because of his intoxication he was incapable of exercising clear judgment and a steady hand in operating a vehicle.

At sentencing, Begay faces a statutory maximum penalty of eight years in federal prison.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Burkhead. 

Updated July 26, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice