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Press Release

Navajo woman sentenced to five years, 10 months in prison for assault with a dangerous weapon

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, announced today that Audera Lee was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison. Lee, 38, of Farmington, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty on Oct. 15, 2021, to assault with a dangerous weapon.

On Oct. 23, 2020, Lee was driving a vehicle on Interstate 40 while severely intoxicated. An off-duty Cibola County Sheriff’s deputy, identified in court records as John Doe, observed her erratic driving and followed her down an off-ramp. After Lee stopped, John Doe, who was in full uniform with his badge displayed, removed her from her car. While John Doe attempted to call for assistance, Lee reentered her car and began driving the wrong way onto I-40.

John Doe pursued Lee, and Lee eventually pulled over. As John Doe approached Lee’s car, Lee got out of her vehicle, retrieved a knife from her pocket, and attempted to slash John Doe. John Doe drew his firearm and told Lee to drop the knife. Instead, Lee lunged at John Doe, who fired one shot, striking Lee in the torso. John Doe and emergency medical services immediately rendered aid to Lee.

The assault occurred in Cibola County on the Laguna Pueblo.

Upon her release from prison, Lee will be subject to three years of supervised release.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Cibola County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Spindle prosecuted the case.

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Updated December 13, 2022

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 22-276