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Press Release

Shiprock woman 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 Evelyn Bustamante pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Bustamante, 59, of Sanostee, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain on conditions of release pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According to the plea agreement and other court documents, on July 1, 2021, Bustamante lost control of the vehicle she was driving, causing it to crash and ejecting both Bustamante and her two children from the vehicle. Neither of the children were seat belted or in car-seats. One of the children died from their injuries. The second suffered a skull fracture and subdural hemorrhaging but recovered. 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 near Hogback, New Mexico. Bustamante admitted to drinking alcohol that morning. During a routine toxicological examination, doctors determined that she had methamphetamine and amphetamine in her system.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bustamante can be sentenced between 5 and 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 and New Mexico State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew McGinley is prosecuting the case.

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23-77

Updated March 1, 2024

Topic
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-77