Couple had burned grass for planting

Navajo Times

Police Report, March 8,2012

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W INDOW ROCK - Navajo Nation Police this week released a more detailed account of the circumstances involving an elderly couple who died recently in Sawmill, Ariz., after a fire they started got out of control.

The police report said that Sadie Mae and Tom Lee Robbins, both in their early 70s from Tuba City, were burning dry grass on Feb. 26 in an arroyo near Sawmill so that they would be able to plant crops on it later.

After using lighter fluid to start the fire, high winds picked up and the fire went out of control as the two tried to get it under control. The two were trying to head to higher ground when the fire caught up with them.

Dudley Robbins, their son, was in the area and told police he tried to get to them to rescue them but his pickup caught on fire and he had to abandon it.

Fort Defiance woman assaulted

Navajo Nation Police are investigating an assault that took place in Fort Defiance on Feb. 10.

Police learned about the assault from officials in the emergency room at Tséhootsooí Medical Center.

Officials said that relatives had brought in Jolensia Todacheenie, 28, of Window Rock after she was assaulted.

Police said Todacheenie was treated for facial injuries.

According to the police report, Todacheenie told police that she was assaulted by Ryan Haskie, 24, and Cheryl Todacheenie, both of Fort Defiance. She also said that her assailants threatened to kill her.

Police said the case is still under investigation.

Woman's arm amputated due to dog attack

Navajo police were called to help in the case of an Iyanbito, N.M., woman who was attacked by dogs in her neighborhood on Feb. 21.

Police said Lilly Teller Thomas, no age given, was walking when she was attacked by a dog belonging to a neighbor. Once that dog attacked, a couple of other dogs joined the attack, biting her in the face, abdomen and the arm.

The injuries were so bad that she was transported to the University of New Mexico Medical Hospital in Albuquerque where doctors had to amputate her arm.

Since the attack, the Iyanbito Chapter has held meetings with Navajo police officials and animal control workers to determine what can be done to make sure that no further attacks occur.

Both police and animal control officials have said that they have not been able to locate the dogs that took part in the attack but many dogs were found that were roaming in the community in violation of tribal laws that require owners to have their pets penned up.

As a result of the incident, animal control officials are planning to hold an "unwanted pet" day in the community where people will be asked to turn over any unwanted pets they have.

Man convicted in death of infant

ALBUQUERQUE - Kalvest Ganadonegro, 30, a member of the Navajo Nation from Alamo, N.M., was convicted March 6 of voluntary manslaughter, after a seven-day trial, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Ganadonegro was charged with assault resulting in death in a criminal complaint filed on Nov. 24, 2008, alleging that he killed a 10-month infant whom he was babysitting by shaking her violently on Nov. 21, 2008, because she would not stop crying.

The shaking caused a diffuse subdural hematoma, cerebral edema and diffuse retinal hemorrhages that eventually led to the infant's brain death.

Ganadonegro faces a minimum of 10 years of imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment.

Man sentenced for manslaughter

ALBUQUERQUE - Herbert Harwood, 50, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, was sentenced March 6 to one year in prison for his involuntary manslaughter conviction, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Harwood admitted killing Richard King, a 36-year-old Navajo man, on March 27, 2007, while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Harwood will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Harwood was also ordered to pay $6,340 in restitution to cover his victim's funeral costs and repay the New Mexico Crimes Victim Reparation Fund.


Johnny Lopez, 17, of Laveen, Ariz., was sentenced Feb. 28 to a combined 30 years in prison after pleading guilty, in two separate cases, to robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence and second-degree murder, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

According to Lopez's plea agreement in the robbery case, on Feb. 20, 2010, Lopez held a man at gunpoint while he and his accomplices stole the man's vehicle.

During the robbery, one of Lopez's accomplices instructed the victim to walk into the desert or he would be shot by Lopez. The victim complied and Lopez drove the vehicle away from the crime scene.

Lopez was sentenced to five years in prison on the robbery charge. He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on the use of a firearm during a crime of violence charge, which is to be served consecutively to the second-degree murder sentence.

Lopez was also sentenced to a term of five years of supervised release, to follow his release from prison, and was ordered to pay $2,200 in restitution.

According to Lopez's plea agreement in the murder case, on July 22, 2010, Lopez, while carrying a rifle, entered a home neighboring his mother's house.

After a brief conversation with two occupants of the home, Lopez opened fire and shot the two men, a father and his son, several times. Both victims died as a result of their injuries. Later that night, Lopez instructed a friend to bury the rifle.

Lopez was sentenced to concurrent terms of 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release on the two murder counts and ordered him to pay $20,359.88 in restitution.

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