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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 10, 2014

Navajo, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Intimate Partner

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Harold Anthony Nez, 36, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Navajo, N.M., pleaded guilty today to a federal assault charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Nez will be sentenced to 15 month in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Nez was arrested on Feb. 20, 2014, on a criminal complaint alleging that he assaulted his intimate partner, a Navajo woman, on Jan. 16, 2014, by driving into her with a vehicle and pinning her left leg against a fence.  The assault occurred in Navajo in McKinley County, N.M.  Nez subsequently was indicted and charged with assault with a dangerous vehicle and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Today Nez pled guilty to an assault resulting in serious bodily injury charge.  In his plea agreement, Nez admitted assaulting his intimate partner by hitting her with a vehicle.  Nez admitted that as a result of the assault, the victim suffered extreme physical pain and severe bruising to the leg that required medical attention.

Nez has been in federal custody since his arrest.  He remains detained pending sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Window Rock, Arizona office, of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Adams. 

The case was brought pursuant to 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 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.

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Updated January 26, 2015