Killer of motorcycle driver given 18 years

By Navajo Times Staff

Aug. 14, 2014

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The man accused of killing Jonathan Yazzie in December 2012 has pleaded guilty and was given an 18-year sentence by District Court Judge Louis DePauli Jr. on Friday.

This is one of the longest sentences ever imposed by a McKinley County judge for vehicular homicide. Larriston Charlie, 33, of Gallup pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide as well as driving on a revoked license.

Yazzie died riding his motorcycle home after the Gallup Christmas Parade. He was headed east on Route 66 near the Interstate 40 interchange on the east side of Gallup when Charlie crashed into him in his truck.

Charlie was pronounced dead at the scene. Last year, his friends, including Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney, erected a memorial in his behalf near the site where the accident occurred.

Charlie only received a six-year sentence for the vehicular homicide charge. DePauli gave him four years each for the three previous DWI convictions on his record.

Under the sentencing, he could get as much as half of that off for good behavior since he has already served a year and a half in county jail waiting for his trial. He could be out as early as late 2022.

FBI seeks to identify skeletal remains

ALBUQUERQUE -- Skeletal remains found on the Navajo Reservation more than two years ago have been identified as those of a Farmington man, and authorities are asking for the public's help to determine how he died, according to the FBI.

DNA analysis performed by the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va., determined the remains were those of Jesse Jacob Estrada Jr., who was 25 when he was last seen in Farmington in April 2012.

A human skull and other bone fragments were found near the Nenahnezad Chapter House in Nenahnezad, N.M., on May 26, 2012.

The FBI and Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety are investigating.

Anyone with information about what may have happened to Estrada is asked to contact the FBI in Albuquerque (24 hours) at 505-889-1300.

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