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Justice News

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pine Hill Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Joseph Paddock, 21, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pine Hill, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a federal assault charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Paddock was arrested on April 28, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with assault, and subsequently was charged in an indictment with assault with a dangerous weapon.  According to court filings, Paddock assaulted the victim, a security guard employed by the Ramah Navajo School Board, by cutting him with a knife on April 18, 2014, at a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation. 

During today’s hearing, Paddock entered a guilty plea to the indictment and admitted that on April 18, 2014, he assaulted the victim with a knife with the intent of causing bodily harm.  Paddock acknowledged that as a result of the assault, the victim sustained injuries that required multiple stitches.

Paddock has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Paddock faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison. 

This case was investigated by the Ramah Navajo Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard.

Updated January 26, 2015