Navajo man from Shiprock pleads guilty to federal assault charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Thomas M. Navaho, 25, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to an assault charge.
Navaho was arrested in July 2018, on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting a Navajo man on April 27, 2018, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M. According to the complaint, Navaho assaulted the victim by punching, choking and kicking him on the side of the body and face, causing him to sustain serious bodily injury
During today’s proceedings, Navaho pled guilty to a felony information charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury. In entering the guilty plea, Navaho admitted punching, kicking and chocking the victim, and threatening to kill the victim because he believed the victim called the police regarding a fight Navaho previously had with another person. Navaho acknowledged that the victim sustained serious bodily injuries, including bleeding on the brain, broken ribs, lacerations requiring stitches and a wound to his left hand which became infected and required surgery, as the result of the assault.
At sentencing, Navaho faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. Navaho has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.