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Man pleads guilty to federal manslaughter charges

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Staff Reports

ALBUQUERQUE – Daniel Jimmy Morgan, 29, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Mexican Springs, N.M., pled guilty Sept. 13 in federal court in Albuquerque to a voluntary manslaughter charge.

The FBI arrested Morgan on Aug. 3, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with killing a Navajo man on the Navajo Reservation in McKinley County on July 29, 2016.

According to the criminal complaint, Morgan killed the victim by kicking the victim in the head and hitting him in the back and knees with a sledgehammer.

Morgan was indicted on Aug. 23, 2016, and was charged with second-degree murder.

According to the indictment, Morgan committed the offense on July 29, 2016, in McKinley County.

During the Sept. 13 proceedings, Morgan pled guilty to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter.

In entering the guilty plea, Morgan admitted that on July 29, 2016, he killed the victim by striking the victim in the head and chest with the intent to cause serious bodily injury.

The Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety arrested Morgan on tribal charges on July 30, 2016. Morgan was transferred into federal custody when he was arrested by the FBI on Aug. 3, 2016.

Morgan has been in federal custody since that time and will remain detained until his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Morgan faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

The case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Mease.