Two Oklahoma residents have been charged in connection with the incident on April 7 in which a man was shot by a New Mexico State Police officer.
Stephen Thompson, 33, of Oklahoma City, was charged with assault with intent to commit a violent felony upon a peace officer, kidnapping, battery upon a peace officer and intent to distribute marijuana.
Kierra Johnson, 20, from Del City, Oklahoma, was charged with assault with intent to commit a violent felony upon a peace officer, kidnapping, and battery upon a peace officer.
Thompson was treated at Gallup Indian Medical Center for a gunshot wound to the abdomen, according to Sgt. Chad Pierce, spokesman for the state police.
Johnson is being held at the McKinley County Adult Detention Center.
Pierce on April 12 gave this account of what happened: New Mexico State Police Officer Calvin Brown stopped a 2016 Hyundai Sonata 4-door vehicle about 7 a.m. Friday that was traveling eastbound on Interstate 40 near mile post 19 for a traffic violation.
Brown began to question Thompson, the driver of the vehicle, about his travels. Brown also questioned the female passenger, Johnson, about their travels.
Brown discovered inconsistencies between the driver’s and the passenger’s statements. Due to the inconsistencies, Brown asked for consent to search the vehicle.
Initially, Thompson gave permission for the search but then withdrew it. Brown explained to Thompson that he was going to send for a K-9 officer then asked Thompson to stand off to the side of the road.
Instead of standing off to the side, Thompson walked with Brown to the passenger side of the vehicle, indicating he needed to get his girlfriend out. As Thompson approached the passenger side of the vehicle, he jumped into the car.
Brown immediately ordered Thompson away from the car and eventually entered the vehicle through the open passenger door in an attempt to remove Thompson from the vehicle. While Brown was in the vehicle, Thompson drove the vehicle onto eastbound I-40 at a high rate of speed.
As the vehicle was traveling east on I-40, Brown, Thompson and Johnson got into a physical altercation. During the altercation, Brown discharged his weapon one time striking Thompson in the right abdomen.
The vehicle came to rest approximately one mile east of where the initial traffic stop occurred.
Brown, who has more than 13 years of law enforcement experience, sustained scratches on his neck during the altercation. He has been with the state police for a year and a half after serving with the Navajo Police Department. He is currently on administrative leave.
State police later secured a search warrant for the vehicle and found approximately 50 pounds of suspected marijuana located in the trunk.
This incident is still being investigated.
Grand jury indicts Prewitt man for shooting officer
A federal grand jury in Albuquerque on April 12 indicted Kirby Cleveland, 32, of Prewitt, on multiple charges in connection with the murder of Navajo Police Officer Houston James Largo.
Cleveland has remained in federal custody since the day after the shooting incident when he was found hiding in bushes near his residence.
He was indicted on the following charges: murdering an officer and employee of the United States who was engaged in the performance of his official duties; committing felony murder while escaping from an institution of confinement; first-degree murder; escaping from an institution of confinement where he was confined after his conviction on a felony offense; using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, the murder an officer and employee of the United States; and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
He was scheduled to appear in federal court again today to enter his plea in these charges.
If found guilty of these charges, he faces a possible sentence of life in prison.
Chinle man sentenced to 20 years
A Chinle man, Kevin Ray Yellowman Sr., has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon and using a firearm in a crime of violence.
Yellowman, 34, was originally charged with 10 felonies in connection with an incident that occurred in Chinle on Sept. 8, 2015.
According to court records, a Navajo Nation Police officer, responding to a domestic disturbance call, was assaulted by Yellowman when he tried to arrest him.
During the confrontation, Yellowman was accused of obtaining the officer’s weapon and then discharging it. He then pointed the gun at the officer and his family members before he fled from the area.
He surrendered to law enforcement agents a short time later.