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Shiprock man sentenced to prison for voluntary manslaughter conviction

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ALBUQUERQUE – Larry June, 58, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., was sentenced Nov. 21 in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 97 months in prison for his conviction on a voluntary manslaughter charge.

June will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

The FBI and Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety arrested June in Nov. 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with killing a Navajo woman by stabbing her with a knife on Nov. 25, 2016, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M.  June was subsequently indicted on Dec. 20, 2016, and was charged with second-degree murder.

On Aug. 21, June pleaded guilty to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter.  In entering the guilty plea, June admitted that on Nov. 25, 2016, he stabbed the victim multiple times with a knife during a heated argument, and that the victim died as the result of the injuries she sustained.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Niki Tapia-Brito and Michael D. Murphy prosecuted the case as part of the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico, which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.

The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.

The project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.