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Press Release

Newcomb Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter

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

ALBUQUERQUE – 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 today that Leighton Spencer pleaded guilty in federal court to involuntary manslaughter. Spencer, 31, of Newcomb, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was placed on conditions of release pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to publicly available court records, on June 2, 2021, John Doe and Spencer were drinking at his residence in Newcomb when John Doe had an altercation with his girlfriend. Spencer and John Doe then got into an argument which turned physical. At some point after that, John Doe produced a knife and stabbed Spencer in the forearm multiple times. Spencer then took the knife from him and stabbed John Doe. A stab wound to the neck damaged a vein and artery which caused John Doe to bleed to death.

At sentencing, Spencer faces up to 8 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department and Navajo Department of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.

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Updated March 6, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-95