Kayenta man faces life for sexual abuse of minor
By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times
WINDOW ROCK, Jan. 30, 2014
The case was tried before U.S. District Judge Stephen M. McNamee from Jan. 7 through Jan. 15. Young is being held in custody pending his sentencing set on March 31, 2014.
The evidence at trial showed that Young molested three different girls on the Navajo Nation, all under the age of 15 years old, over a 25-year period. The victims testified that Young either vaginally or anally penetrated them with his finger while they were sleeping.
Conviction for aggravated sexual abuse of a minor carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 30 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
Whippoorwill resident assaults federal officer
Donovan Eric Williams, 24, who resides in Whippoorwill, Ariz., was sentenced Tuesday in federal district court in Albuquerque to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for assaulting a federal officer.
Williams was arrested on April 24, 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon. According to the complaint, Williams assaulted a sergeant of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety by deliberately veering his vehicle into her police vehicle on March 21, 2013, near Church Rock, N.M.
Williams subsequently was indicted and charged with assaulting a federal officer who was engaged in the performance of her official duties because the tribal officer possessed a Special Law Enforcement Commission from the BIA at the time of the assault.
On Oct. 21, 2013, Williams pled guilty to the indictment and admitted intentionally assaulting a federal officer on March 21, 2013. In his plea agreement, Williams acknowledged that, at the time of the assault, he was being pursued by a tribal officer who was attempting to pull his vehicle over and the federal officer was approaching him from the opposite direction.
Williams admitted that he intentionally struck the federal officer's vehicle even though the officer had pulled her marked police vehicle off to the side of the road to avoid a collision. Williams subsequently learned that the officer was commissioned as a federal law enforcement officer at the time of the assault.
Woman admits killing husband with firewood
GALLUP -- Bertha Damon, 44, who resides in Mentmore, N.M., was sentenced in federal district court in Albuquerque to 63 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for her voluntary manslaughter conviction.
On Sept. 16, 2013, Damon pleaded guilty to a felony information charging her with killing a man by striking him with a piece of firewood on the Navajo Reservation on May 21, 2011. The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of any plea agreement.
According to court filings, Damon and the victim, her husband of 24 years, returned to their home after a night of drinking and began arguing. During the argument, Damon repeatedly struck the victim in the head with a piece of firewood. The victim died as the result of multiple blunt force traumas to the head.
Damon, who has been on conditions of release since entering her guilty plea, is required to surrender to a federal correctional facility to be designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prison within 60 days.
Rifle among items stolen from burglarized vehicles
SHIPROCK - During the early morning hours on Jan. 11, numerous vehicles were broken into and personal items were taken from vehicles, according to a news release from the San Juan County Crime Stoppers.
An unmarked police vehicle was one of the vehicles burglarized. A Navajo Police Departmental Colt AR-15A3 (serial No. LBD0006425) police rifle was taken from this unmarked police vehicle. The right rear passenger window was broken and the rifle was removed from the vehicle along with a Canon digital camera, a 24-inch police expandable baton and three 30 round rifle magazines. Each magazine contained 20 rounds of 55-grain hollow point ammo, a total of 60 rounds were taken with the rifle.
Many other items were also removed from many of the other vehicles that were parked near the Shiprock Hospital in an area known as the BIA Compound.
Anyone with information about the individual or individuals responsible for these vehicle burglaries is asked to call the Navajo Police Department at 505-368-1350.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 334-TIPS (334-8477) or log onto www.sjcrimestoppers.org and earn up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of this crime.
One arrested in connection with jewelry theft
GALLUP -- The McKinley County Sheriff's Office reported on Tuesday that they are investigating the theft of $100,000 in Navajo jewelry from the Dick Elkins Trading Co. in Thoreau on Monday.
One Thoreau resident, Davidson Calladitto, 36 has already been arrested on charges of receiving stolen property and larceny, and another man is still being sought after. Sheriff deputies were able to recover $25,000 of the Navajo jewelry.
Dick Elkins told sheriff deputy Lorenzo Guerrero that he had just returned from a buying trip in Farmington and had the jewelry in a duffle bag that he placed on the floor of his business.
He left the room for a short period of time and when he returned the bag was gone. A video camera showed Calladitto moving the bag closer to the exit of the business out of sight of store employees.
When Guerrero arrived at the trading post a little later, he was told that Calladitto was parked at a nearby restaurant AND inside eating. He was found there and police searched his vehicle after contacting the owner and getting her permission.
They found the duffle bag inside the vehicle with portion of the jewelry still in the packets.
A second man was seen on the video working with Calladitto moving the duffle bag and he is now being sought by the sheriff's office.
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