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Naschitti man charged with involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country

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ALBUQUERQUE – A man from Naschitti, N.M. has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after he lost control of his vehicle and killed one of his passengers.

According to a criminal complaint, on Nov. 2, Donovan Henry was allegedly driving east on Route 134 in Sheep Springs, N.M., with two passengers when he lost control of his vehicle. The vehicle went off the road into shrubs, rocks and boulders. The vehicle flipped when it hit a boulder, and all three passengers were ejected from the vehicle. A Navajo Police officer arrived to find Henry, 39, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, underneath the vehicle and his passengers lying on the ground near the vehicle.

Henry was airlifted to San Juan Regional Medical Center. The passenger from the front seat, John Doe 1, who is also a member of the Navajo Nation, was placed in an ambulance bound for Northern Navajo Medical Center. The passenger from the back seat, John Doe 2, was placed in an ambulance going to Gallup Indian Medical Center. John Doe 1 died of his injuries while in the back of the ambulance before it left the scene.

Henry’s blood alcohol content allegedly was .16.

Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced on Nov. 10 that Henry made an initial appearance in federal court on Nov. 8 facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country. Henry will remain on conditions of release pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 14.

A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Henry faces up to eight years in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department and the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Jones is prosecuting the case.