Skip to main content
Press Release

Sanostee Man Sentenced for Voluntary Manslaughter

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A Sanostee man was sentenced to 144 months in prison after pleading guilty to the beating death of his friend during a drunken altercation.

There is no parole in the federal system.

According to court documents, on June 8, 2022, John Doe went to the residence of Tyrone Atcitty Nez, 34, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, to assist with repairing a water heater. During the visit, John Doe and Nez were drinking together and rough housing.

At one point, John Doe stood up from a seated position, and Nez punched him in the face, knocking him unconscious and causing him to fall to the floor. While John Doe lay unconscious and unresponsive on the floor, Nez proceeded to kick him in the face and torso approximately 5 to 10 times while wearing work boots until he noticed Doe was bleeding profusely from his nose and mouth.

Worried Doe would choke, Nez turned him onto his side and exited the residence to ask neighbors to call 911. The Navajo Department of Criminal Investigations responded, and Nez admitted to punching and kicking Doe.

Doe died at Nez’s residence from the head injuries inflicted. The medical examiner listed the cause of death as blunt head trauma, with contusions, fractures, internal bleeding, and brain swelling.

After completing his term of imprisonment, Nez will be required to serve five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Brittany DuChaussee and R. Eliot Neal are prosecuting the case.

# # #

Updated June 12, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-210