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Press Release

Santa Ana Pueblo Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Jayleen Armijo, 30, a member and resident of Santa Ana Pueblo, pleaded guilty this morning to a federal assault charge.  Armijo entered her guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.

Armijo and co-defendant Benjamin Menchego, 32, also a member and resident of Santa Ana Pueblo, were indicted in Feb. 2013, and charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  According to the indictment, Armijo and Menchego assaulted a woman on Dec. 20, 2012, in a location within the Santa Ana Pueblo.  According to court filings, the victim sustained a broken orbital socket, a broken nose and over a dozen bite wounds which left permanent scars as a result of the assault.

During today’s proceedings, Armijo entered a guilty plea to the indictment and admitted assaulting the victim on Dec. 20, 2013.  In entering her guilty plea, Armijo admitted biting the victim, aiding Menchego in assaulting the victim, and leaving the victim with serious injuries.  Armijo was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service after entering her guilty plea and will be detained pending her sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Armijo faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.

Menchego has entered a not guilty plea and is presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  He is scheduled for a change of plea hearing tomorrow.

This case was investigated by the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Santa Ana Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Mysliwiec.

Updated January 26, 2015