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Press Release

Sheep Springs Man Sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for murder in Indian Country

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Garrett Neal, 28, of Sheep Springs, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was sentenced in federal court on Sept. 16 to 15 years in prison on a conviction for second-degree murder in Indian Country.

Neal pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2020. According to the plea agreement, Neal and an accomplice engaged in a fight with a man in Sheep Springs, on the Navajo Nation. During the fight, Neal punched and kicked the man while he was on the ground and hit him with brass knuckles and rocks in his head and throat, causing him to sustain fatal injuries. Neal admitted that he was aware the victim was trying to breathe, had that he had attempted to run away and did not fight back. The victim died at the scene as a result of the beating.

Upon his release from prison, Neal will be subject to five years of supervised release.

The FBI investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Assistant United States Attorney Novaline D. Wilson prosecuted the case.

Updated September 21, 2021

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 21-190