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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Navajo Woman from Arizona Sentenced in New Mexico for Federal Involuntary Manslaughter and Assault Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Miranda Rentz, 41,  an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Red Valley, Ariz., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., for her conviction on involuntary manslaughter and assault charges.  Rentz will serve an 84-month prison sentence followed by three years of supervised release.

Rentz was arrested in Jan. 2015, on a criminal complaint charging her with involuntary manslaughter and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  According to the complaint, Rentz killed one victim and seriously injured another when she crashed her vehicle head-on into the victims’ vehicle.  At the time of the crash, Rentz while driving under the influence of alcohol. Court documents indicate that the assault victim suffered fractures to her right collarbone, ribs, upper chest wall and right wrist, had brain bleeding and a bruised left lung.  The crash occurred on Jan. 17, 2015, in a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M.  Rentz was subsequently indicted on the same charges on Feb. 25, 2015.

On Jan. 20, 2016, Rentz pled guilty to the indictment and admitted killing one victim and assaulting the second victim, causing her to sustain serious bodily injury, by driving recklessly while under the influence of alcohol.  Rentz acknowledged that the alcohol rendered her incapable of exercising clear judgment and a steady hand in operating the vehicle.  Rentz admitted that she operated the vehicle without using due caution and with a reckless disregard that imperiled the lives of others.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback.

Topic: 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated August 22, 2016