Motorcyclist hit after parade

WINDOW ROCK, December 6, 2012

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W INDOW ROCK - A Keams Canyon, Ariz. man has been charged with DWI and vehicular homicide in the death of a motorcyclist in Gallup on Saturday.

The victim, Jonathan Yazzie, 30, of Church Rock, N.M. was on his way home about 3 p.m. after participating in the Red Rock Balloon Rally parade. He was in the area of U.S. Highway 66 near the 26-mile exit for Interstate 40 when he hit a pickup driven by Larrison Charlie, 31.

According to the Gallup police report, Charlie's vehicle entered Yazzie's lane causing his motorcycle to hit the pickup. Another motorcyclist who was behind Yazzie, Sherwin Silago, 24, of Gallup was injured when flying debris from Yazzie's motorcycle hit him in the head.

Police said that Charlie attempted to flee the scene before police arrived but was prevented from doing so by witnesses to the accident, who forced him to the ground until police arrived.


Shiprock robbery being investigated

The Navajo Nation Police Department and the FBI are asking for the public's assistance in trying to find two men who robbed the Sonic Drive-In in Shiprock on Nov. 30.

The two men, who were dressed in black and were wearing blue bandanas over their faces, entered the restaurant just after midnight and demanded the cash in the register.

Witnesses said one of the robbers was carrying what looked like an AK-style assault rifle. The two left after getting an unspecified amount of money and may have gotten into a white or silver colored four-door sedan.

Anyone with any information can contact the Albuquerque FBI office at 505-889-1300 or send a tip to the FBI's hotline at https://tips.fbi.gov


Charges dismissed Against man accused Of molestation

The U.S. District Court in Albuquerque last week dismissed child molestation charges against Vernon Parker of Chambers, Ariz.

Parker had been arrested in September 2011 after an eight-year-old girl, the daughter of his on-again and off-again girlfriend, accused him of touching her private areas over her clothes.

Parker pled not guilty but earlier this year agreed to plead guilty as part of a plea agreement that would give him a prison term of between 33 and 41 months.

In November, after he had served almost 15 months in jail because of the nature of the charges, and two days before he was to have been formally sentenced, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a motion asking that the sentencing be delayed because the victim had told her mother that the incident had never happened.

The motion, however, did not ask for the charges to be dismissed since prosecutors said they still had concerns that the decision by the victim may have been due to intimidation by Parker.

An interview was set up between the victim and a forensic expert in dealing with child abuse cases. The government also went through all of Parker's telephone calls while in prison and his visitor's log to determine if he had any chance to communicate with the victim or her mother.

After all of this was done, the prosecution filed a motion asking for the case to be dismissed without prejudice, which means it could be filed again if evidence is found to show that the recantation was not legitimate.

Parker said after being released last week that he had been advised to take the plea even though he was innocent because juries almost always believe the victim and if he had been found guilty, he would have faced the possibility of a 20-year sentence.





Ganado man Found guilty Of assault

A federal jury in Phoenix found Harry McCabe Sr., 51, of Ganado guilty of federal assault charges in connection with an incident that took place in 2011 on the Navajo Reservation.

Mccabe was accused of firing at the victim with a .22 caliber rifle, hitting him in the head and causing serious bodily injury.

He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for his conviction of assault with a deadly weapon. He faces a similar sentence for his guilty conviction for discharging a firearm in a crime of violence.

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