Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Voluntary Manslaughter Charge
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women
ALBUQUERQUE – Larry June, 58, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a voluntary manslaughter charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, June will be sentenced to 97 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
The FBI and Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety arrested June in Nov. 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with killing a Navajo woman by stabbing her with a knife on Nov. 25, 2016, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M. June was subsequently indicted on Dec. 20, 2016, and was charged with second-degree murder.
During today’s proceedings, June pled guilty to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter. In entering the guilty plea, June admitted that on Nov. 25, 2016, he stabbed the victim multiple times with a knife during a heated argument, and that the victim died as the result of the injuries she sustained. June remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Niki Tapia-Brito and Michael D. Murphy are prosecuting the case as part of the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.