Skip to main content
Press Release

Navajo man from Shiprock sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for second degree murder

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

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Zachariah Stanley Joe, 29, of Shiprock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was sentenced on Jan. 14 in federal court to 15 years in prison.

            On Oct. 31, 2019, Joe pleaded guilty to second degree murder for killing a Navajo man in Shiprock on the Navajo Indian Reservation. In his plea agreement, Joe admitted that on Jan. 3, 2019, he killed the victim in callous and wanton disregard for human life. According to the plea, while drinking alcohol Joe got into a fight with the victim at a residence in Shiprock. After locking the victim and another man out of the residence, Joe armed himself with a kitchen knife and went outside where he stabbed the unarmed victim approximately ten times in his chest, side and neck. The victim died shortly afterward.

            Joe has been in federal custody since his arrest. Upon his release from prison, Joe will be subject to three years of supervised release.

           The Farmington office of the FBI investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Cowen is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 28, 2021

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-17