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Justice News

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Navajo Man from Shiprock Sentenced for Federal Assault Conviction

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Terrell Ray Antonio, 41, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M. Antonio will serve a 46-month term of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on an assault charge.


Antonio was arrested on Jan. 22, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury. According to the complaint, on Jan. 17, 2016, struck the victim, a Navajo woman, with his car minutes after she got out the vehicle and started walking away from the vehicle following an argument between the two. The victim suffered a fractured hip, broken right upper arm and head trauma, and had to be airlifted to a hospital because of her injuries. committed the assault on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M.


Antonio was indicted on Feb. 24, 2016, and charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and assault with a dangerous weapon, a vehicle.


On July 22, 2016, Antonio pled guilty to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily. In entering the guilty plea, Antonio admitted assaulting the victim by striking her with his vehicle, and acknowledged that she suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the assault.


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. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito prosecuted 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 American 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.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Updated February 21, 2017