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Shiprock man charged with 2nd-degree murder

LOS ANGELES

Jameson Begay, 41, of Shiprock was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Albuquerque for second degree murder. He is currently under federal detention.

Court records said that in their pursuit of Begaye after the murder was committed, he fired from his vehicle at police units, with one bullet going through the windshield of one of the police units.

A victim, identified in court records as K.B. died on July 7, 2021, at a residence west of Shiprock On County Road from two gun wounds, one in the chest and the other in the abdomen.

Navajo Police were called to the residence by a witness who said he heard four shots coming from the residence, followed by a black Chevrolet Malibu leaving from the house just after the shooting.

One of the witnesses inside the residence said they heard a car pull up and someone, who they later identified as Begaye, running up to the door. The witness said K.B. and the others tried to prevent Begaye from coming in but they were unsuccessful.

There was a physical altercation between Begaye and K.B. The altercation ended, the witness said, when Begaye pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds in K.B.’s direction. Begaye then left the residence.

With the permission of the residence’s owner, police conducted a search of the premises, finding bullet holes in the wall and patches of reddish/brown substance consistent with blood on the wall and floor.

A search of motor vehicle records revealed that Begaye owned a black Chevrolet Malibu.

Police searched throughout the rest of the day trying to locate the vehicle but were not successful. On the following day, police were told the vehicle was seen west of Shiprock.

A Navajo criminal investigator stopped the vehicle and told the three occupants that he wanted to talk to Jameson Begaye. One of the passengers got out and told the investigator, “Jameson isn’t here.”

He got back in the car and it drove away. When the driver saw a number of tribal police units on the main road, he increased his speed in an effort to get away.

During the pursuit, several shots were fired from inside the car at police. During the pursuit, one police officer noticed something being thrown from the Malibu.

The Malibu eventually went into a secluded area and stopped. Begaye and two others in the car were taken into custody.

Inside the vehicle in plain sight was a rifle and multiple spent and unspent cartridges for a .22. Police also found multiple empty beer cans in the car.

Some officers were sent back to the area where someone in the car threw something out. After a brief search, police located a .22 pistol.

One of the passengers in the car told police that he saw Begaye get out of the car and go into the residence where the shooting took place. Three minutes later, the witness said, Begaye came back out of the house and had blood on his clothing. He told the driver to drive away because he had just shot someone.

The witness said the other occupants in the car shot at a house in Shiprock during the pursuit. During the pursuit, the witness said, Begaye told the other two goodbye because he said he knew he was going to jail.

Begaye later waived his rights and told FBI agents that when he entered the residence, he got into a physical altercation with one or more of the occupants in the house.

He said he did not have a gun on him when he entered the house or at any other time during the day. He claimed he was drunk and high on drugs throughout the day.

No date has been set for a jury trial.


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.

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