Casamero Lake man pleads guilty to assault

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times
GALLUP, July 25, 2013

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K irby Cleveland, 29, who resides in Casamero Lake, N.M., pleaded guilty Thursday in federal district court in Albuquerque to a federal assault charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Cleveland will be sentenced to two-years in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Cleveland was arrested in July 2012 based on a criminal complaint and

subsequently indicted and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and aggravated burglary.

According to the criminal complaint Cleveland forcefully entered into a residence located on the Navajo Reservation, armed with a baseball bat and assaulted a Navajo woman.

During Thursday's proceedings, Cleveland pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury and admitted assaulting the victim on May 14, 2012 at her family's home. According to his plea agreement, Cleveland went to the victim's home looking for individuals who had threatened him earlier in the day.

Cleveland has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.


21-year-old gets 37 months for sexual child abuse

GALLUP – Erick McDonald, 21, who resides in Two Grey Hills, N.M., was sentenced Thursday to 37 months in federal prison followed by seven years of supervised release for his sexual child abuse conviction. McDonald also will be required to register as a sex offender.

McDonald pleaded guilty on March 4, 2013 to abusive sexual contact with a six-year-old Indian child and a 12-year-old Indian child on Sept. 19, 2012.

In entering his guilty plea, McDonald admitted that he intentionally touched the genitals and other body parts of the two victims.

Court records reflect that McDonald's unlawful conduct occurred in a residence on the Navajo Indian Reservation.



Man arrested on murder charges

Gallup police arrested a Blue Gap, Ariz. man for murder Wednesday.

Ronald Yazzie, 45, was accused of killing Bruce Keane, address unknown, in a room he had rented at the Zia Motel in Gallup early Wednesday morning.

Yazzie was seen running away from the motel and was apprehended by police.

In an interview with police, Yazzie said he was drinking with Bruce when they got in an argument over whether he had taken Yazzie's cell phone. He said he passed out and woke and then left the room.


Woman ejected from car, dies

WINDOW ROCK – The FBI reported on Tuesday that Colette Begay, 23, was killed Thursday morning in a single-vehicle crash in Upper Fruitland.

Begay, of Fruitland, N.M. drove a 1995 Chevrolet Blazer down an embankment on Navajo Route 36 at 12:13 a.m., according to Frank Fisher, a spokesman for the FBI. Begay was killed when she was ejected from the vehicle.

A female passenger in the vehicle was treated at a hospital and released, Fisher said.

The rollover crash happened about a mile west of the intersection near Northern Edge Navajo Casino, according to Shiprock police Lt. Phillip Joe.

A sheriff's deputy, who was on patrol near N.M. Highway 371 and N36, saw a dark sport-utility vehicle driving fast near the intersection at around midnight. The deputy attempted to locate the vehicle but never found it. Police said that might have been the vehicle Begay was driving.

Toxicology reports are pending, Fisher said.

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