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Press Release

Shiprock Man Sentenced to Fifty Months in Federal Prison for Assault and Firearms Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Lancelot Lapahie, 25, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., was sentenced this morning to 50 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on assault and firearms charges.

Lapahie was arrested in March 2012, on a criminal complaint and subsequently charged in an indictment with (1) assault with a dangerous weapon, a machete; (2) assault resulting in serious bodily injury; (3) assault with a dangerous weapon, a baseball bat; (4) abuse of a child under the age of 18 years; and (5) possession of an unregistered firearm.  According to the indictment and other court filings, the offenses were committed during the late hours of March 23, 2012 and the early hours of March 24, 2012, at a Shiprock residence located within the Navajo Indian Reservation.

Lapahie pled guilty to Counts 2, 3 and 5 of the indictment on Nov. 8, 2012.  In his plea agreement, Lapahie stated that during the late hours of March 23, 2012 and early hours of March 24, 2012, he was drinking alcohol with several individuals when an argument broke out.  Lapahie admitted striking one man with a baseball bat and repeatedly striking another man about the head, arms and body with a machete.  The victim of the machete attack suffered multiple stab wounds and cuts to his head, face, forearm, leg and back.  While investigating the assaults, officers found an unregistered shotgun in Lapahie’s residence.  Lapahie admitted possession of the unregistered shotgun.

Lapahie has been in federal custody since his arrest.  As required by the plea agreement, Counts 1 and 4 of the indictment were dismissed after Lapahie was sentenced.

            The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack E. Burkhead and Novaline D. Wilson, and was investigated by the Albuquerque and Farmington offices of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
Updated January 26, 2015