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Press Release

Shiprock woman charged with murder in Indian Country

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 Maylene John made an initial appearance in federal court on a criminal complaint charging her with murder in Indian Country. John, 32, of Shiprock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for October 31.

As alleged in the complaint, in the early morning hours of Oct. 24, John stabbed her child in the chest. Another family member heard the child scream for help and rushed to John’s bedroom. The door was locked, so the family member kicked it open. They found the child, identified as Jane Doe, lying on the floor with a stab wound to the torso, and saw John allegedly sitting at the foot of her bed holding a knife. As the family member provided a blanket to Jane Doe to apply pressure to the wound, John allegedly put the knife to her neck, at which point the family member forced her to drop it, and the family member threw the knife out of the room.

The family member went to a neighbor’s house for help. The neighbor called for assistance while the family member returned to John’s house. John was in the bedroom with Jane Doe and would not allow the family member to enter.

When Navajo Police and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived, John was taken into custody while EMS attempted to revive Jane Doe. At 3:42am, Jane Doe was declared dead.

The alleged murder was committed on the Navajo Nation and Jane Doe was an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, John faces up to life in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin L. Dillon is prosecuting the case.

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Updated October 27, 2022

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 22-239