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Press Release

Shiprock man pleads guilty to 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, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Keanu Marcel Upshaw pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Upshaw, 22, of Shiprock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to the plea agreement and other court documents, on Sept. 16, 2021, Upshaw lost control of the vehicle he was driving, causing it to crash and ejecting both Upshaw and his passenger from the vehicle. Upshaw’s passenger died from their injuries as a result of the crash. Tests showed that Upshaw’s blood alcohol concentration was .18 at the time of the accident, which is more than twice the legal limit in New Mexico. The crash occurred on the Navajo Nation.

Under the terms of his agreement, Upshaw can be sentenced to up to 8 years in prison followed by up to 3 years of supervised release.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.

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Updated April 6, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-69