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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 15, 2019

NAVAJO MAN FROM SANOSTEE, N.M., PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERALINVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER AND CHILD ABUSE CHARGES

ALBUQUERQUE – Tavis Washburn, 27, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Sanostee, N.M., pleaded guilty in federal court in Albuquerque on July 12, 2019, to charges of involuntary manslaughter and child abuse in Indian Country. 

            In his plea agreement, Washburn admitted committing these crimes in San Juan County on Feb. 15, 2018.  Washburn was driving drunk and speeding on a highway when he crashed his car into a truck turning onto the road.  The impact of the crash killed the passenger in the front passenger seat of Washburn’s vehicle.  Washburn’s reckless conduct also endangered Washburn’s 2-year-old son, who was a passenger in the vehicle.  The crash occurred within the Navajo Indian Reservation.

                 Washburn currently is in out of custody pending sentencing.  Under the terms of the plea agreement, Washburn faces 71 to 120 months of imprisonment when he is sentenced.  A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

            The case was investigated by Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison C. Jaros is prosecuting the case.

Press Release Number: 
19-107
Updated July 17, 2019