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Press Release

Pojoaque Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Involuntary Manslaughter

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 Kyle Joseph Harney-Chee was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Chee, 31, of Pojoaque, and an enrolled member of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, pleaded guilty in federal court to involuntary manslaughter on Aug. 15, 2023.

According to publicly available court records, on January 16, 2021, Chee was traveling down US Highway 84/285 after consuming marijuana and alcohol. While driving, Chee became distracted by his phone and looked away from the road. While he was looking down at his phone, Chee struck a motorcycle from the rear, killing the driver. Chee immediately stopped on the side of US Highway 84/285 and called 911. Chee informed responders that he had consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana prior to operating the vehicle and complied with the follow-up investigation by following directives and assisting officers. Officers found several pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes, one cigarette half-burned, several grams of marijuana, a pipe with a burned substance, as well as several empty and half empty bottles of liquor in Chee’s vehicle.

Upon his release from prison, Chee will be subject to 3 years of supervised release.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. McGinley and Mark A. Probasco are prosecuting the case.

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Updated February 7, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-59