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Press Release

Tohatchi Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter 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 Donavan Henry pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country. Henry, 40, of Tohatchi, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain on conditions of release pending sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled. Henry’s conditions include a strict prohibition on drug and alcohol use, drug and alcohol testing, and substance-abuse treatment.

According to court documents, on November 2, 2022, Henry was driving east on Route 134 in Sheep Springs, New Mexico, with two passengers when he lost control of his vehicle. The vehicle went off the two-lane road and flipped when it hit a boulder. All three passengers were ejected from the vehicle. A Navajo Police officer arrived to find Henry underneath the vehicle and his passengers lying on the ground near the vehicle.

Henry was airlifted to San Juan Regional Medical Center. The passenger from the front seat, John Doe 1, who was also a member of the Navajo Nation, was placed in an ambulance bound for Northern Navajo Medical Center. The passenger from the back seat, John Doe 2, was placed in an ambulance going to Gallup Indian Medical Center. John Doe 1 died of his injuries while in the back of the ambulance before it left the scene. Henry’s blood-alcohol content, which was drawn at the hospital following the wreck, was .16.

At sentencing, Henry faces a statutory maximum of up to eight years in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department and the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Jones is prosecuting the case.

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Updated July 17, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-152