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Press Release

Jury Convicts Man Of Voluntary Manslaughter In Wife's Death On Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation

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

RENO, Nev. – Following a six-day trial, a jury found a husband guilty of voluntary manslaughter in his wife’s death at their home on the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada. The man is a member of the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of Nevada and Oregon and his wife was a member of the Te-Moak Tribe of the Western Shoshone.


“The defendant will be held accountable for this crime,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “I commend our local, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners and the Assistant U.S. Attorneys for working together collaboratively throughout the investigative and prosecution process and for their commitment in seeking justice for the victim.”


Nelson Ray McKee, 45, was indicted on Jan. 28, 2015. At the time of sentencing, he faces the statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May 15, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones.


According to testimony and evidence presented during the jury trial, on Dec. 31, 2014, McKee’s wife went to a neighbor’s house after being stabbed in the upper chest by McKee. The neighbors dialed 9-1-1. A BIA officer and Humboldt County Deputies arrived at the scene and went to locate McKee. They noticed blood drops in the snow around the property and on the front door of McKee’s residence. Upon entering the residence, law enforcement found McKee extremely intoxicated. They also found two kitchen knives on a table, bottles of whiskey, and small droplets of blood on the kitchen floor and on the front door frame. McKee was arrested that night after officers were alerted that the woman died from her injuries. The Washoe County Medical Examiner’s autopsy revealed that the knife penetrated 5 inches into the woman’s chest and directly into her heart.


The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, and FBI; and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shannon M. Bryant and Carla B. Higginbotham.



Updated February 15, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice