Shiprock man arrested in connection with shooting, stabbing

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times
WINDOW ROCK, August 22, 2013

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A Shiprock man has been arrested in connection with a shooting and stabbing incident at a Shiprock apartment complex Friday evening.

Victor Tyler, 44 was shot during the incident and on Tuesday was formerly charged by the FBI for aggravated assault. A Navajo tribal police officer, whose name was not released, was stabbed in the foot during the incident.

Tribal police were called to the apartment complex because of reports that a fight was in progress. When they got there, Tyler resisted arrest, resulting in being shot and the police officer being stabbed.

Both were taken to local hospitals for treatment. FBI officials said Tyler's wound was not life-threatening.


Sanostee man gets five for child sex abuse

A Sanostee man was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for aggravated child sexual abuse.

Lorenzo Begay, 49, will also be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

Begay was arrested in Jan. 2012, on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually abused a child under the age of 12 from July 2010 through June 2011, within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation.

The investigation into Begay was initiated after law enforcement authorities received a referral from the Navajo Nation Division of Social Services after the child victim disclosed the sexual abuse to a school social worker.

On May 15, Begay entered a guilty plea to aggravated sexual abuse and admitted sexually abusing the child victim. Begay was remanded into federal custody after entering his guilty plea.


Three arrested for child sex abuse

Bruce Hamilton, 77, a non-Native who resides in Shiprock, pleaded guilty Monday to sexually abusing a minor.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Hamilton will be sentenced to a federal prison term within the range of two to five years followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Hamilton will be required to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison sentence.

Hamilton and co-defendants Herbert Ben, Sr., 63, and Rosabelle Ben, 58, both members of the Navajo Nation from Shiprock, were arrested in May 2012, based on a criminal complaint alleging child sex abuse offenses.

All three subsequently were indicted and charged with sexual abuse of a child between the age of 12 and 16 years, and aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of a child.

Hamilton pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a ward or minor and admitted sexually abusing a Navajo child between the age of 12 and 15 years on a date between Aug. 2010 and Dec. 2011. Hamilton further admitted committing this crime in a building located within the Navajo Reservation.

Co-defendant Ben, Sr., pleaded guilty on July 31, 2013, to sexual abuse of a minor and admitted that, on a day between Aug. 2010 and Dec. 2011, he sexually abused the victim at a location within the Navajo Reservation.   Under the terms of his plea agreement, Ben, Sr., will be sentenced to a federal prison term within the range of two to five years followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Ben, Sr., also will be required to register as a sex offender.

Co-defendant Rosabelle Ben has entered a not guilty plea and is pending trial.





Hopi member sentenced for manslaughter

A Shiprock woman has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.

Pamela Navasie, 42, an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe who resides in Shiprock, was sentenced in federal district court in Albuquerque Tuesday to 110 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for her voluntary manslaughter conviction.

Navasie was arrested on Jan. 11, 2011, and charged with killing a 65-year-old Navajo woman at the victim's Shiprock residence.  Navasie has been in federal custody since her arrest.

On Jan. 11, 2013, Navasie pleaded guilty to a felony information charging her with voluntary manslaughter and admitted stabbing the victim in the neck and causing the victim's death.  Navasie admitted stabbing the victim in the heat of passion while the two women were quarreling.


Pine Hill resident to serve 87 months for assault

Charlie Cohoe, 33, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pine Hill, N.M., was sentenced on Aug. 8 to 87 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his federal assault conviction.

Cohoe was arrested on Jan. 25 on a criminal complaint charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

The complaint alleged that on Jan. 18 Cohoe repeatedly stabbed and slashed another Navajo man who had agreed to drive Cohoe to a friend's residence. The assault occurred in Cibola County within the Ramah Navajo Reservation.

On April 10, Cohoe pled guilty to the crime, charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon, and admitted assaulting the victim with a knife, causing life-threatening injuries that required surgery. The victim's face also was disfigured as a result of the assault.


Shiprock man gets 19 years for murder

Malcolm Altisi, 32, who resides in Shiprock, was sentenced Tuesday in federal district court in Albuquerque to 19 years in federal prison for his second degree-murder and attempted robbery convictions.

Altisi and his co-defendant, Emery Whitehair, 21, from Pinon, were charged in an eight-count indictment based on events occurring on October 17, 2011 in Shiprock.

According to court records, on that day, Altisi killed Rolan Joe, 25, after Altisi and Whitehair attempted to rob a different Navajo man earlier that day. Altisi was charged with second-degree murder, using a firearm in relation to crime of violence and assault and attempted robbery offenses.

Whitehair was also charged with assaulting the robbery victim with a dangerous weapon, causing the victim serious bodily injury, and using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

In March, Altisi entered guilty pleas to the second-degree murder and attempted robbery charges.

In entering his guilty pleas, Altisi admitted that on Oct. 17, 2011, he attempted to rob a man at his Shiprock home and brandished a firearm at the robbery victim in an effort to compel the victim to give him money.

Altisi also admitted shooting Joe with a .357 revolver later that day when Joe traveled to Altisi's residence to confront Altisi about the attempted robbery. Joe died as a result of the gunshot wound inflicted by Altisi.

In April 2013, Whitehair pleaded guilty to using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Whitehair has been in federal custody since his arrest in October 2011 and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

At sentencing, Whitehair faces a prison sentence of not less than seven years and a maximum of life in prison.


Drunk driver convicted of assault, gets 21 months

Tina Benally, 38, who resides in Shiprock, N.M., was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Albuquerque to 21 months in federal prison after being convicted of assault.

Benally was indicted on Feb. 27 and charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and child abuse.

On May 22, Benally entered a guilty plea to the assault charge and admitted that on March 2, 2012, after drinking alcohol, she drove her vehicle at excessive speeds and crashed into a semi-truck.

There were two passengers, including a minor child, in Benally's vehicle at the time of the collision and the adult passenger suffered multiple fractures that required surgery.

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