Shiprock man arrested in wife’s murder

GALLUP

The FBI announced Tuesday the arrest of Larry June, 57, of Shiprock, who is charged in a federal criminal complaint with murder and crimes occurring in Indian Country.

June was taken into custody Tuesday. He was expected to have an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Paul Briones in Farmington on Wednesday.

The charges are in connection with an investigation by the FBI and Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety into the death of a Navajo woman that occurred in Sheep Springs on Friday.

According to his indictment, Navajo police Friday responded to a report of a stabbing that occurred during a traditional Navajo ceremony being held that day in Sheep Springs.

When they got there, they found that a 53-year-old woman, who is identified in the indictment as Jane Doe, had been transported by people attending the ceremonial in an attempt to meet up with emergency medical technicians who were on their way to the scene.

When contact was made with EMS personnel, the victim was found to be unresponsive and bleeding from several stab wounds. She died shortly thereafter.

Police discovered through interviews with the people who transported her from the ceremony that she had been selling food from her trailer during the ceremony, which had been held east of mile marker 45 of U.S Highway 491.

One of the witnesses told FBI agents that he overheard an argument coming from inside the victim’s trailer as he sat at a campfire about 15 feet away.

When he went over and looked through a window in front of the trailer, he said he saw a man standing over the woman. He said the man appeared to be hitting her.

He said after the man left the trailer, he went inside and saw the woman bleeding from several stab wounds. She was moaning. He asked her who did this and she allegedly responded, “My husband.”

Another witness also told FBI agents she heard the victim arguing with a man who was assisting her in taking orders and collecting money. That witness said she later heard banging noises that sounded like fighting coming from inside the trailer.

She added that she then heard a woman’s voce yell from inside the trailer, “He has a knife!”

She said she also looked through one of the trailer windows and saw the man standing over the victim and yelled at him to stop. She also said she heard the woman say that her husband was responsible for her injuries.

When Navajo police investigators interviewed the victim’s adult children, they identified Larry June as her husband.

June was found by police the next day in Shiprock wearing sweatpants that had red stains on them that appeared to be blood.

When June was interviewed on Sunday by FBI agents and Navajo police, he said he was working with the victim at the ceremony selling food from her trailer. No other people were in the trailer.
Shortly after sundown, he said the two began arguing and he said his wife started yelling at him while other people were around, causing him to be embarrassed.

The arguing became physical, he said, when his wife poked at him with a lighter which caused him to push his wife, resulting in both falling to the ground near the stove. June said he then punched her three times as she leaned against a table.

He said his wife at that point grabbed a knife from the table with her right hand and swung it at him, missing him but stabbing herself in the right side.

June then told investigators that he then heard a woman asking what was going on so he left the trailer and walked away.

An examination of the woman’s body revealed that she had at least five stab wounds, two in the area of her right breast, two in her abdomen, and one in her back.


 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

Are you a digital subscriber? Read the most recent three weeks of stories by logging in to your online account.

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.




About The Author

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan has been writing about the Navajo Nation government since 1971 and for the Navajo Times since 1976. He is currently semi-retired and is living in Torrance, California, and continues to report for the Navajo Times.