Two die of exposure in Gallup

GALLUP, Nov. 21, 2013

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Two possible exposure deaths have been reported this past week by Gallup police.

The body of a Ganado man, Jonathan Kee, 31, was found in the bay of a car wash early Saturday morning located at 508 North U.S. Highway 491.

The body was found by a man passing by the car wash about 3:18 a.m.

Police said another suspected exposure victim was found Tuesday morning in an alley in the 200 block of West Green Street.

This victim is still unidentified. The victim was described as a Native American woman, possibly of Zuni descent, between the ages of 35 and 45 years of age. She was dressed all in black -- black jeans, tee-shirt and black jacket.

Both bodies have been sent to Albuquerque for an autopsy.




Man arrested, accused of shooting woman in face

WINDOW ROCK - The FBI in Albuquerque reported on Monday that the 25-year-old man wanted for the October shooting of a woman in a housing complex in Fruitland, N.M. was arrested Friday.

Patrick Lynn Benally, of Shiprock, was arrested by U.S. marshals near Morgan Lake, according to the FBI.

Benally was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury, assault with a dangerous weapon, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence and offense in Indian Country. He is schedueld to be arraigned Tuesday in federal district court.

Benally is accused of shooting a woman in the face on October 10 in Fruitland. FBI officials said no other information will be released at this time.

Gallup resident gets 10 years for second-degree murder

WINDOW ROCK - Thomas Benally, 53, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Gallup, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison during an hearing last Thursday in federal district court in Albuquerque.

This will be followed by two years of supervised release for his second-degree murder conviction.

Benally's co-defendant, Luke Spencer, 48, a Navajo man who also resides in Gallup, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for his involuntary manslaughter conviction. The two men were ordered to pay $3,442.34 in restitution to cover funeral costs for the victim of their crimes.

Benally and Spencer were indicted in March 2012 in an indictment charging Benally with second degree murder and Spencer with aiding and abetting second degree murder.

According to the indictment, Benally, aided by Spencer, killed a man while driving under the influence of alcohol on the Navajo Reservation between Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, 2010.

In June 2013, Benally entered a guilty plea to a second degree murder charge and admitted that on the night of Oct. 1, 2010 or the early hours of Oct. 2, 2010, he drove Spencer's truck while severely intoxicated.

He further admitted that, while backing up, he ran over a 71-year-old Navajo man. Benally also admitted that he and Spencer, who was in the passenger's seat, drove away in the truck without making any effort to check on the victim's condition or calling the authorities to report the accident.

The victim died of injuries he sustained and a passerby found his remains on Oct. 7, 2010.

In May 2013, Spencer pleaded guilty to felony information charging him with involuntary manslaughter and admitted that he permitted Benally to drive his truck while intoxicated.

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