Police Blotter: Navajo man convicted of sexual abuse

ALBUQUERQUE

Ferguson Pierce, 52, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Farmington, was sentenced this week in federal court in Santa Fe, to 210 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for his conviction on an aggravated sexual abuse charge.

Pierce will also be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Pierce was arrested in November 2015 on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually assaulted and raped a Navajo woman in San Juan County, on the Navajo Indian Reservation, on July 6, 2015. Pierce was indicted on Aug. 25, 2015, and charged with aggravated sexual abuse.

On June 6, 2016, Pierce pled guilty to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse. In entering the guilty plea, Pierce admitted that on July 6, 2015, he forced his way into the victim’s residence and sexually assaulted the victim.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Man pleads guilty to impeding murder probe

 ALBUQUERQUE — Maynard Shirley, 37, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Kirtland, New Mexico, pled guilty Tuesday in federal court in Albuquerque, to being an accessory after the fact and impeding an investigation into a murder and assault which occurred in Fruitland, New Mexico on March 21, 2015.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Shirley will be sentenced to 42 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

According to court filings, Maynard Shirley and his brothers Elijah Shirley, 31, and Michael Shirley, 32, were charged with murdering a Navajo man and assaulting the murder victim’s father. According to the criminal complaint, the defendants committed the crimes on March 21, 2015, in Fruitland, in San Juan County.

Maynard Shirley, Elijah Shirley, and Michael Shirley were indicted on April 14, 2015, and charged with killing one victim by stabbing him with a knife, and assaulting the second victim with a dangerous weapon and causing him to suffer serious bodily injury.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, Maynard Shirley pled guilty to a felony information charging him with being an accessory after the fact as to the offense of voluntary manslaughter. In entering the guilty plea, Maynard Shirley admitted that from March 21, 2015 through March 23, 2015, he aided Elijah Shirley despite knowledge that Elijah Shirley had committed the crime of voluntary manslaughter. Maynard Shirley admitted helping Elijah Shirley by transporting him, securing housing for him, and burning his vehicle.

Michael Shirley pled guilty on Sept. 21, 2016, to an information charging him with being an accessory after the fact. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Michael Shirley will be sentenced to 63 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Elijah Shirley entered a guilty plea on Sept. 21, 2016, to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter, and admitted stabbing and killing the victim in the heat of passion. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Elijah Shirley will be sentenced to 121 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Maynard Shirley, Elijah Shirley and Michael Shirley all remain in custody pending sentencing hearings, which have yet to be scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock and Kayenta offices of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Niki Tapia-Brito and Nicholas Marshall.


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