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Justice News

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Navajo Man from Shiprock Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Federal Assault Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Lance Wilson, 31, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 60 months in prison for his conviction on an assault charge.  Wilson will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Wilson was arrested in Jan. 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting a Navajo man by striking him in the head with a pair of wire cutters on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M.

Wilson subsequently was indicted on Jan. 24, 2017.  The two-count indictment charged Wilson with assault with intent to commit murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. The indictment alleged that Wilson committed the crimes on Dec. 24, 2016, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County.

On Oct. 2, 2017, Wilson pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  In entering the guilty plea, Wilson admitted that on Dec. 24, 2016, he struck the victim twice in the head with a cable-cutting tool because he was angry with the victim.  Wilson further admitted that as the result of the assault, the victim required multiple surgeries including one to place a plate in his skull.  Wilson acknowledged that, as the result of the assault, the victim suffered permanent injuries including memory loss and loss of speech, requires the use of a wheelchair, and resides in a health care facility. 

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Murphy prosecuted the case.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated August 29, 2018