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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Monday, July 14, 2014

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Thomas Navaho, 21, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a federal assault charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Navaho was arrested on March 4, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with assault and subsequently was charged in a two-count indictment with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and assault with a dangerous weapon.  According to court filings, Navaho assaulted the victim, another Navajo man, on Feb. 22, 2014, at a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation. 

During today’s hearing, Navaho entered a guilty plea to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  Navaho admitted that on Feb. 22, 2014, he initiated the assault by choking the victim while he was asleep.  Navaho continued his assault on the victim during a physical altercation, during which the victim sustained injuries that required medical attention.

Navaho has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing.  At sentencing, Navaho faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison when he is sentenced, which has yet to be scheduled. 

This case was investigated by the Farmington Office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers.

Updated January 26, 2015