Fireworks, lightening cause fires

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times
CHURCH ROCK, N.M., July 11, 2013

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M cKinley fire officials are saying that misuse of fireworks caused a 10-acre brush fire that occurred east of the Churchrock chapter house on Saturday.

County Fire Marshall Bill Woolman said that it took fire crews more than four hours to put out the fire, which spread rapidly because of the amount of tumbleweeds in the area.

The good news, he said, was that the fire crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to several homes in the area.

Woolman also reported that county fire crews were sent to put out fires that were started by lightning Saturday night along State Highway 264 near Yah-Ta-Hey.

The lightning struck two trees, setting them on fire. Fire crews were on the scene within minutes and were able to keep the fires from spreading.

Thoreau Dollar Store robbed

Navajo police and the McKinley County Sheriff's Office are investigating a robbery that occurred on Sunday at the Dollar Store in Thoreau.

Details were sketchy but police said that a man wearing a mask entered the store and threatened the store clerks with a weapon and made off with an unspecified amount of money.

Man pleads guilty to assault, child abuse

Everett D. Williams, 24, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Nambe Pueblo, N.M., has pleaded guilty to federal assault and child abuse charges in federal district court in Albuquerque.

Williams was arrested in March 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting his intimate partner with a hammer and causing her to sustain serious bodily injury. According to court filings, Williams assaulted the victim, a Kewa Pueblo woman, and endangered the health of two toddlers on Feb. 23, in a residence located on Nambe Pueblo.




Williams entered a guilty plea to all four counts of the indictment and admitted to striking the victim in the head with a hammer and causing her serious bodily injury.

The criminal complaint reflects that the victim required surgery to treat a gaping wound on her forehead. Williams also admitted that, while swinging the hammer at the victim, he missed the victim and instead struck a three-year-old child in the back.  He further admitted that, while attempting to hit the victim with his fist, he struck a two-year-old child above the eye.

Williams has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Williams faces a maximum possible penalty of 10 years in prison for each of the two assault charges and three years in prison for each of the child abuse charges.

Ganado woman gets one year for harboring man

Jennifer Janice Morgan, 21, of Ganado has pleaded guilty in federal district court in Albuquerque to harboring and concealing a person for the purpose of preventing his arrest on an arrest warrant. Morgan, who has been in federal custody since her arrest on May 30, was sentenced to a year in prison, which was suspended, and a year of probation.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 21, Morgan evaded deputies of the McKinley County Sheriff's Department as she drove from New Mexico towards Window Rock with a passenger who had an outstanding federal arrest warrant from the District of Arizona for violating the terms of his supervised release.

As Morgan drove past the New Mexico-Arizona state line, officers of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, who had activated their vehicles' sirens and emergency lights, took up the pursuit as Morgan continued to drive through Window Rock and towards Fort Defiance.

The officers finally were able to stop Morgan's vehicle in Navajo, N.M. When the officers took Morgan into tribal custody, she admitted that she and her passenger were fleeing from the officers because her passenger was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant. Morgan remained in tribal custody until her arrest on federal charges on May 30.

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