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Press Release

Pine Hill Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Abuse Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Harold Martinez, 32, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pine Hill, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a felony information charging him with abuse of a child not resulting in death or serious bodily injury.

Martinez was arrested on Nov. 26, 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging assault charges.  According to the criminal complaint, on June 11, 2013, Martinez initiated a physical confrontation with another Navajo man during which Martinez stabbed the victim.  After the victim got into his vehicle in an effort to get away from Martinez, Martinez rammed his own vehicle into the victim’s vehicle several times.  Two young boys were in Martinez’s vehicle when he rammed it into the victim’s vehicle.

During this morning’s hearing, Martinez admitted that on June 11, 2013, he deliberately drove his vehicle into another vehicle without justification.  Martinez also admitted that two unrestrained children were in the vehicle he was driving and that by ramming into another vehicle he placed the children in a situation that endangered their lives or health.  The children however were not injured.

Martinez has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Martinez faces a maximum penalty of three 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