Leupp woman, 26, killed in crash

Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, February 2, 2012

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W INDOW ROCK - A Leupp, Ariz., woman died in a one-vehicle accident that occurred Jan. 22 on Navajo Route 2.

Navajo police were dispatched to the scene near mile marker 10 at about 9:41 a.m. after a call from family members of the deceased, who was identified as Marlanda Chee, 26.

Chee, along with Cordell Michael Chee, were driving along the highway when their vehicle went off a cliff, ejecting both the driver and the passenger.

The police report gives no details on what caused the vehicle to go off the cliff and police are not sure who was driving at the time.

After going off the cliff, Cordell Chee managed to climb back up to the road and went to a nearby house where one of the residents agreed to drive him home. When he got home, family members convinced him to go to the hospital and once there, family members called police.

Police said that Marlanda Chee was dead at the scene.

Biggs faces 10 years for assault

ALBUQUERQUE - Kerley K. Biggs, 22, of Ramah, N.M., pled guilty Jan. 24 to assault with a deadly weapon and faces up to 10 years in prison, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

According to the plea agreement, on Sept. 25, 2010, Biggs beat another Navajo man with a metal expandable baton at Biggs' residence in Ramah.

As a result of the assault, the victim required medical treatment for numerous injuries to his head, left cheek and left eye, including a wound to the back of his head that required 12 staples to repair.

Lupton man sentenced for arson

PHOENIX - Brennen Larry Nez, 21, of Lupton, Ariz., was sentenced Jan. 30 to three years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release after pleading guilty to arson, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

On June 14, 2010, Nez got into an argument with his girlfriend at her mother's residence located on the Navajo Reservation. While intoxicated, Nez set fire to the residence causing the victim's residential trailer to burn to the ground.

Nez then ran to the second victim's residence and set the stove on fire. Although the fire at the second residence was quickly extinguished, a two-year-old boy had been asleep in one of the back bedrooms.

The two-year-old boy was checked by emergency personnel and determined to be unharmed.

Bloomfield man sentenced for firearm

ALBUQUERQUE - Domingo Castillo, 33, of Bloomfield, N.M., was sentenced Jan. 30 to six years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for his felon in possession of a firearm conviction, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

According to the plea agreement, Castillo admitted that on March 8, 2011, he knowingly possessed a Glock, model 19, 9x19 caliber pistol.

Castillo further admitted that the firearm was stolen and that he was not allowed to possess firearms.

Slashing nets 2 years in prison

ALBUQUERQUE - Andre Francisco, 24, of Fort Wingate, N.M., was sentenced Jan. 30 to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for an assault conviction, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

According to court records, Francisco and his victim, also a Navajo man, got drunk together Aug. 27, 2010, and argued over ownership of an alcoholic beverage.

Francisco slashed the victim's face with a 12-inch steak knife, resulting in a deep, disfiguring cut runs from the top of the victim's left ear to the corner of his mouth.

While on supervised release, Francisco will be required to participate in a substance abuse treatment program with testing compliance and to refrain from use of alcohol.

Peach Springs teen indicted

PHOENIX - On Jan. 24, a federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a five-count indictment against Cooper Price Susanyatame, 19, of Peach Springs, Ariz., according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The indictment charges Susanyatame with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, use of a firearm in a crime of violence, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

The allegations stem from a Christmas Day 2011 incident in which Susanyatame fired a short-barreled .22 caliber rifle through the window of a neighboring home on the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

The bullet lodged in the head of a woman inside, who had to be airlifted to a Las Vegas, Nev., hospital where doctors extracted the bullet from her scalp.

If convicted, Susanyatame faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both, for each crime. A sentence for use of a firearm in a crime of violence must run consecutive to any other sentence, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

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