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Press Release

Navajo Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Fanderick Chiquito, 23, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Upper Fruitland, N.M., was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for his involuntary manslaughter conviction. Chiquito will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Chiquito was arrested on Dec. 31, 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he killed a Navajo woman on Dec. 23, 2013, while driving under the influence of alcohol in a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation.  According to court filings, Chiquito caused a three-vehicle collision near mile marker 25 on Navajo Route 36 when he tried to pass a line of vehicles and struck another vehicle head on while driving in the oncoming lane.  Both vehicles spun out of control on impact and one of the vehicles struck a third vehicle.  The victim, a passenger in Chiquito’s vehicle, died of internal injuries she sustained during the collision.  After Chiquito was treated for minor injuries, he was arrested on tribal charges based on blood test results indicating a .29 BAC.

On Jan. 22, 2014, Chiquito was charged with involuntary manslaughter in federal court.  The indictment alleged that Chiquito killed the victim while driving a vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor and operating a vehicle carelessly and in wanton disregard for the rights and safety of others. 

On April 1, 2014, Chiquito pleaded guilty to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.

This case was investigated by the Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers.

Updated January 26, 2015