Police investigating drive-by shooting

Navajo Times

Police Report, Feb. 23,2012

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N avajo Nation police are trying to determine whether a Tuba City teenager shot in a drive-by shooting was the target or an innocent bystander.

The shooting occurred about 10:15 p.m. on Feb. 20 near the home of Shirley Nackideneh on Preston Way in Tuba City. Injured in the incident was Everett Chee, 18.

Witnesses said a dark color Chevy or GMC extended truck was involved. A passenger in that vehicle opened fire with a handgun, spraying the house and a parked vehicle, as well as hitting Chee in the right forearm before speeding away.

Chee told police he did not know why he had been targeted or who owned the truck that the shooters used.

Cameron man hit by car

A Cameron, Ariz., man was severely injured when he was struck by a car in Tuba City on Feb. 12.

Navajo Nation police were called to the scene on Main Street south of the Subway Restaurant about 7:21 p.m.

The driver of the vehicle, Eustacia Yazzie, 26, of Grand Canyon, Ariz., said she didn't see the victim because he was wearing dark-colored clothing and it was dark outside.

She said the man had been standing in the median and was struck as she turned into the Shell Gas Station there.

The man was flown to Phoenix Banner Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to the police report.

Gallup police seek vandals

The Gallup city police are asking for the public's assistance in trying to find the persons responsible for vandalizing Chief Manuelito Middle School sometime during the early morning hours of Wednesday.

When school officials arrived that morning, they discovered several windows broken as well as glass from the school's vending machines in the hallway.

Officials were still doing an inventory as this issue went to press to determine in any equipment at the school was damaged or stolen.

County Superintendent Ray Arsenault said the damage was so bad that school was called off for that day with buses bringing students told to turn around and take the students home.

Other students who did not come by bus were transported to the nearby Gallup High School and placed in the lunch area until parents could come by and pick them up.

Anyone with any information about who was responsible is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 505-722-6161. You don't have to give your name and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could receive a reward of up to $1,000.

Drug sweep nets 2 arrests

The Navajo Nation Drug and Gang Enforcement Unit conducted a "Safe Schools" drug sweep at Window Rock High School on Feb. 14, arresting two teenagers and confiscating a quantity of marijuana.

Police officials said the raid was requested by the school's principal after several students were caught with marijuana in their possession on school grounds and were suspended.

Police, using K-9 drug dogs, checked 18 classrooms after the building was locked down about 9 a.m. Arrested during the sweep were Elias Eugene Esplain, 18, of Window Rock, and Curtis Rosenburg, 18, of Sawmill.

Police said one of them was charged with possession of marijuana and the other for being under the influence of marijuana but the police report did not say which student had been charged with which crime.

Police said they also found five pre-packaged bags of a green leafy substance of what turned out to be marijuana when it was tested. Police said the packages were found in the trash can.

A total of 18.2 grams of marijuana was confiscated with a value of about $100.

Fire destroys trailer

A fire on Feb. 8 in Cameron destroyed a small travel trailer belonging to James Colorado.

The fire was discovered by a Navajo Nation police officer who was on regular patrol along Highway 89 and who saw a possible structure fire west of the highway. When he got to the scene, he said he saw the trailer totally engulfed in flames.

Colorado, 43, told police that he had been in the trailer shortly before the fire started and had put fire in the wood stove as well as turn on the trailer's generator so he could use the gas heater.

He said he left the trailer and the gas heater was still on at that time.

Police said the trailer was totally destroyed. No foul play is suspected.

4 years for cutting girlfriend's throat

PHOENIX - Jeffrey Benner, 30, of Cross Canyon, Ariz., was sentenced Feb. 13 to four years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for assault resulting in serious bodily injury conviction, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

According to Benner's plea agreement, on or about July 26, 2011, he got angry during an argument with his girlfriend at the couple's home and slammed a door, causing a framed picture to fall to the ground and shatter.

Benner subsequently ordered the woman to pick up the broken glass. When she refused, Benner picked up a piece of glass, pulled her head back by her hair and cut her throat. The victim survived with serious injuries.

Child assaulted for drinking money

ALBUQUERQUE - Aero Nez, 23, of Shiprock, was sentenced to a year in prison for his federal assault conviction, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

On March 27, 2011, the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety contacted the FBI after a 14-year-old female child with a severe head injury was found in a canal near Indian Village in Shiprock.

Several weeks later, after the child's medical condition improved, she reported that Nez had hit her and caused her to fall into the canal and then struck her with the leg of a metal chair because she refused to give him money for alcohol.

The child had $30 in her possession at the time of the assault and did not know what happened to the money but assumed that Nez stole it following the assault.

In entering his guilty plea, Nez admitted to the assault, saying he was intoxicated at the time. He was ordered to pay $6,654 in restitution in addition to the rest of the sentence.

Woman sentenced for cover-up

PHOENIX- Melissa Delmar, 34, of Page, Ariz., was sentenced Feb. 13 for making false statements to federal law enforcement officers, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

According to Delmar's plea agreement, on July 14, 2011, she falsely asserted to law enforcement that her husband, Freddie Haskie, was not present on her property and that she had not seen him for seven weeks.

At the time, Delmar knew Haskie was hiding nearby and that he was the subject of an active warrant for her husband's arrest. Delmar's statements gave Haskie time to flee and required the agents to chase him another four miles before he was apprehended.

Delmar was sentenced to seven months in prison, which she had already served at the time of sentencing. She was sentenced to an additional three years of supervised release.

Kalestewa gets 5 years for Lalio killing

ALBUQUERQUE - Cameron Kalestewa, 21, a member of Zuni Pueblo, was sentenced to five years in prison for his voluntary manslaughter conviction, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Kalestewa was charged with killing Michael Lalio, a 23-year-old Zuni Pueblo man, during an altercation that took place in Zuni, N.M., on Nov. 17, 2010.

According to court records, Kalestewa and Lalio were fighting and Kalestewa stabbed Lalio in the torso, resulting in Lalio's death shortly thereafter.

Kalestewa will be on supervised release for two years after completing his prison sentence. He was ordered to pay $1,929.77 in restitution to his victim's grandmother to cover the victim's funeral costs and the cost of grief counseling for the grandmother.

Kalestewa also was ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution to the New Mexico Crimes Victims Reparation Commission.

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