Police Blotter: Shiprock man sentenced to 10 years for shooting incident
On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced Norman Yazzie, a 25-year-old Shiprock resident, to 10 years in prison for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
His arrest stemmed from an incident that occurred on April 29, 2016 at a home in Shiprock.
The initial reports said that a female at that address had been shot at least two times and had been taken to the Northern Navajo Medical Center for treatment.
When the woman was later interviewed by FBI agents, she said she had gone to the home of Yazzie earlier that day to get an identification card she had left there previously as collateral for alcohol.
But when she got there, she said Yazzie refused to give it to her without payment. She said she then took Yazzie’s wallet in an attempt to retrieve the identification card and ran to get into a car a friend had outside.
As they were driving away, she said Yazzie followed after them with a rifle and began shooting at them, hitting her in the forehead. The vehicle backed into a neighbor’s fence and Yazzie opened her door and yelled for her to return his wallet.
She said she held her bleeding head with one hand while searching for the wallet with the other, “frantically crying” the entire time.
Once she found the wallet and turned it over to him, she said Yazzie fired his rifle at her once more and hit her in the knee.
Navajo police then went to Yazzie’s house where they found him working in the yard.
When asked what happened, he said some people came to his house and started harassing him while he was eating. A woman grabbed his wallet because she wanted her identification card.
He said he had her card because she pawned it to him two months earlier for $15. At that point, he declined to say anything more.
Police were able to find witnesses in the area who saw Yazzie running after the vehicle holding a rifle and yelling for his wallet, firing two shots toward the vehicle.
Drunk-driver receives 37 months for involuntary manslaughter
On Tuesday, Brandon Bob Lincoln, 30, of Breadsprings, N.M. was sentenced to 37 months in prison after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lincoln was involved in a car accident that occurred at milepost 4.7 on Breadsprings Road. Initial reports were of a vehicle that crashed into a tree.
When Navajo police got to the scene, they found a man who had been partially ejected from the truck’s passenger side door window. The man was deceased.
There was no one else at the scene or within the immediate perimeter.
Police were able to get into contact with a man identified as G.L., who said Lincoln had gotten into the pickup’s passenger seat. But G.L. said she became concerned because the driver was intoxicated and was wearing dark sunglasses and this was about 7:30 p.m.
G.L said she urged her nephew not to get into the pickup, but he said it was all right and they left, going west.
Investigators at the scene of the accident found a single can of Natural Ice beer on the floorboard of the driver’s side and blood on the passenger side.
A reconstruction of the accident indicated that the vehicle was heading eastbound on Breadsprings Road when it failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, going off the road and hitting a large piñon tree.
Navajo police officers found tracks leading away from the vehicle and followed them 70 yards south of the pickup and found Lincoln lying on the ground.
Later, according to the complaint filed against him, Lincoln reportedly told the staff at the Gallup Indian Medical Center, where he was taken for treatment, that he had been driving the vehicle and they were driving to the store when his friend told him to turn around. A short time later, he had hit a tree and his friend had tried to crawl out and died.
When his blood alcohol level was tested, the lab had a reading of .321, which was then converted to a calculated blood alcohol level of 0.27-mgs/100 ml.
When FBI agents talked to him the next day, Lincoln admitted being the driver and said he did not know the name of the passenger since he met him only the day before.
They were going to the store, but the man told him to turn around so he turned around at the top of the hill and began driving down the hill. The next thing he knew it, he had hit a tree.
He said after the accident he went around to the passenger side and tried to wake up the man, but got no response. He said he knew he was dead so he got scared and walked away from the pickup.
He had gotten only a short distance and had to lay down, he said, because his knees were hurting.