Home invasion in Shiprock

Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, June 30, 2011

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It was listed by the Navajo Nation Police as a drive-by shooting in the Shiprock area but it was actually more of a home invasion.

In the early morning hours of June 25, Cleve Thompson, 51, and Phyllis Valdez, no age given, were awakened from their sleep by someone knocking on the door.

When Thompson answered it, he saw a man in a mask who asked for Larry Manus, also known as "Juggie." When told that Manus wasn't in, the masked man and another man entered the house armed with a machete and a 9-mm handgun.

Thompson got into a scuffle with the first suspect and during the scuffle managed to pull off his mask, sustaining a small cut on his right thumb in the process.

Suspect two then reached over suspect one's head and fired two shots, hitting a portable battery charger. This woke up Rick Valdez, 37, who was in one of the bedrooms.

By this time, the two suspects had left but before that they fired off two more shots. The case is still under investigation by the Department of Criminal Investigations. No suspects were listed.

Body found in river

No identification had been released as of Wednesday for a body that was pulled from the San Juan River on Monday.

The incident began Saturday when Miles Steven, 21, of Shiprock, reported seeing a body floating down the river. He told police he had been fishing at the time.

Shiprock police immediately began searching the river without much luck at first. A San Juan County helicopter joined in the search Sunday and the body was seen on an island in the middle of the river.

By then it was too dark to recover it but that was done the next day. While no ID was given, police said it was of a male with a bald head with a tattoo saying "TY' on his left hand.

Rapist back in jail

Edison Brady, 41, of Rock Point, Ariz., recently got out of prison after serving a 20-year sentence for strong-arm rape. As of June 23, he is back in prison for a parole violation.

Navajo police said as soon as Brady got out of prison, he violated his parole and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The U.S. Marshal's Service came to the reservation to seek help in finding and arresting him.

Tribal officers talked to friends and family, and heard Brady was in the Shiprock area. When they went to the residence of his sister, Ethelyene Johnson, two men were observed running into the building.

Police surrounded the building and the occupants were told to open the door. When no one complied, officers went to the door and knocked, only to discover that it was ajar.

When they opened the door, they found a man sitting in a chair. He told them no one else was in the building but police checked anyway and found two other men, one of whom was Brady, whom they arrested without incident.

Once a bootlegger, always ... ?

This is another case of someone being arrested for a parole violation but it could also be called "Once a Bootlegger, always a bootlegger."

Irene Notah, no age given, of Lukachukai, Ariz., was among those arrested for bootlegging several months ago by the tribe's Drug and Gang Enforcement Unit.

She pled guilty and was released. However, immediately upon returning to her home she resumed her bootlegging activities, claiming the Navajo police couldn't do anything to her, according to police.

Her bravado, along with her illegal operation, apparently annoyed some community members, who complained to said police. Navajo police went by Notah's residence and arrested her June 23.

Two suspected in Crownpoint fight

One Crownpoint man is under arrest and another is being sought in connection with a fight that occurred at the NHA housing area in Crownpoint on June 21.

After getting a report of a fight, Crownpoint police went to the scene and discovered two men laying on the ground.

The first, identified as Tyson Antone, 23, unknown address, was alert and responsive. The second - Travis Huskon, 20, of Dalton Pass, N.M. - was not.

Antone was taken to the Gallup Indian Medical Center while Huskon was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque with unspecified life-threatening injuries.

Later that day Karlettes Largo, 25, of Crownpoint was arrested in connection with the incident. Another suspect, identified as Eric Ferguson, 24, of Crownpoint, is still being sought.

Jury convicts Navajo man from Ariz.

ALBUQUERQUE - On June 22, a federal jury in Santa Fe convicted William Belin, 57, of assault and firearms offenses after a three-day trial, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

At sentencing, Belin faces a maximum penalty of 20-years' imprisonment on the assault convictions. On the firearm conviction, Belin faces a minimum 10-year term of imprisonment to be served consecutive to the sentence imposed on the assault convictions.

Belin, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, has been in federal custody since his arrest on July 7, 2010, and will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

The evidence at trial established that, at approximately 8 a.m. on July 7, 2010, Belin shot his 35-year-old girlfriend with a .22 caliber rifle. The shooting took place in victim's home located in Shiprock.

The bullet struck the victim on the left shoulder and exited her back, just below her neckline. The victim survived the shooting after receiving treatment.

Trial testimony established that Belin believed the victim was dating other men, and that belief led him to formulate a murder/suicide plot that he attempted to carry out on July 7, 2010.

Shiprock man pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder

ALBUQUERQUE - On June 27, in federal court in Albuquerque, Gary Redhorse John Begay, a 25-year-old enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, entered a guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Begay will be sentenced to a 14-year term of imprisonment to be followed by not more than five years of supervised release.

Begay pleaded guilty to shooting Allen Ashike and causing his death in Shiprock on Dec. 17, 2010.

The criminal complaint filed in the case alleges that Begay shot Ashike at approximately 1:30 a.m. on December 17, 2010 after the two men spent the evening drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

According to a witness, Begay shot Ashike because Ashike was teasing him and being verbally abusive.

In his plea agreement, Begay admitted that he fired three shots at Ashike, two of which struck Ashike in the stomach and chest.

Whiteriver man convicted of multiple counts involving the sexual abuse of minors

PHOENIX - Samuel James Seymour, 50, of Whiteriver, Ariz., was found guilty by a federal jury of two counts aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The case was tried before U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt between June 14 and June 16 in Prescott. Sentencing is set before Rosenblatt on Sept. 26.

The evidence at trial showed that Seymour sexually abused three separate minor victims between 2000 and 2008. The victims never disclosed their abuse until one of the victims, now an adult, actually observed the defendant sexually abusing another victim and reported it to police. The defendant claimed he was merely educating the victims how to have sex.

A conviction carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 30 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

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