Family offers reward for missing person

Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, Jan. 19, 2012

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T OHATCHI, N.M. - The family of Alarik David Tsosie, 29, is seeking the public's help for information about his whereabouts.

He was last seen on Jan. 20, 2010, at approximately 10:05 a.m. hitchhiking south on U.S. Highway 491 near the Tohatchi High School exit.

He is 6 feet tall and weights about 170 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

He has two tattoos: on his left arm "ADT"; and one his right forearm "TOY."

He was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, brown work boots and a grey beanie.

His family is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts. His mother is Joan Thompson of Tohatchi, N.M.

Anyone with information should contact the Navajo Nation Police's Crownpoint District at 505-786-2050 or Detective Malcolm Leslie at 505-786-2300.

Sacaton man sentenced for manslaughter

PHOENIX - Steven Burnette III, 41, of Sacaton, Ariz., was sentenced Jan. 17 to three years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the crime of involuntary manslaughter, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

On Dec. 3, 2010, Burnette drove his car, which contained three passengers, while intoxicated. Burnette drove in excess of 50 mph on a dirt road on the Gila River Indian Community.

After failing to stop for stop signs and driving erratically, Burnette crashed into a canal that he did not see. Burnette's front seat passenger died as a result of the crash.

Burnette's blood alcohol concentration was .18.

Red Valley convicted of rape

ALBUQUERQUE - On Jan. 13, a federal grand jury convicted Derrick Ivan Jim, 29, a member of the Navajo Nation from Red Valley, Ariz., of two rape offenses after a five-day trial, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The evidence at trial established that, on the evening of Aug. 12, 2010, the victim, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who was then a college student, had three friends over to her home in Fruitland, N.M.

Jim, a person previously unknown to the victim, arrived with one of his friends. The victim's friends observed that Jim seemed to be following the victim in and out of the residence during the course of the evening and into the night.

At one point in the early morning hours of Aug. 13, 2010, when the victim went into the residence, Jim followed her into the house and locked the door. He then dragged the victim into a back bedroom where he forcibly raped her.

During the assault, the victim attempted to fight Jim off while yelling out to her friends. After Jim escaped out the back door, the victim alerted her friends. The victim and her friends reported the sexual assault to the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, and thereafter identified Jim as the rapist from a photo lineup.

In addition to hearing testimony from the victim, the jury also heard about the events surrounding the rape from two of the victim's friends.

A sexual assault nurse examiner who examined the victim after the rape testified about the injuries sustained by the victim as a result of the rape, and crime scene investigators testified about evidence recovered at the victim's residence.

The jury also learned that Jim admitted raping the victim during a court proceeding and then later retracted that admission.

During the defense case, Jim took the stand and denied raping the victim. Instead, Jim claimed that he and the victim had consensual sex.

The jury deliberated for approximately two hours before returning a verdict of guilty on both counts of the indictment.

At sentencing, Jim faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

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