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Justice News

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Voluntary Manslaughter and Assault Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – Roderick Talk, 43, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Sanostee, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to voluntary manslaughter and assault charges under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Talk was arrested in June 2015, and charged in a criminal complaint with killing a man in Indian Country in San Juan County, N.M., on May 30, 2015.  The crime occurred during an argument between Talk, the victim and the victim’s nephew, while Talk and the victim were drinking alcoholic beverages.  Talk was subsequently indicted on June 24, 2015.

During today’s proceedings, Talk pled guilty to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter and assault with a dangerous weapon.  In entering his guilty plea, Talk admitted that on May 30, 2015, while in the heat of passion or a sudden quarrel, he killed a man and assaulted another man with a dangerous weapon, a pickup truck, with intent to do bodily harm.  Talk admitted that the crimes took place on the Navajo Indian Reservation. 

At sentencing, Talk faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.  Maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided for information purposes only.  The sentence on Talk will be determined by the court.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI, the New Mexico State Police and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback is prosecuting the case.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated February 4, 2016