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Press Release

Navajo woman charged with involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced that Leticia Ashley was arraigned on March 6 on an indictment charging her with involuntary manslaughter and abandonment and abuse of a child. Ashley, 42, of Navajo, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain under supervision pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

A federal grand jury indicted Ashley on Feb. 23. According to the indictment, on July 29, 2022, Ashley, while under the influence of alcohol, operated a motor vehicle with children in the car and placed those children in a situation which resulted in the death of one and endangered the lives of three others. The incident occurred in McKinley County, New Mexico, within the bounds of the Navajo Nation

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Ashley faces up to 8 years in prison.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly N. Bell is prosecuting the case.

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Updated March 7, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-45