Diné College employee charged with fourth DWI

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times
WINDOW ROCK, August 1, 2013

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D aryl Begay was back in the news on Monday with another DWI.

The 42-year-old Tsaile, Ariz. resident and Diné College's Director of Development was arrested in Albuquerque early Friday morning after he blew a .11 on the breathalyzer.

This marks Begay's fourth DWI but the first three were either dismissed or dropped on appeal.

Begay gained a lot of media attention in his third case. In September 2009, when the driver of the other vehicle, 21-year-old Scott Costley, died when his car was driven into a telephone pole on Munoz Overpass in Gallup.

Begay was charged with vehicular homicide and DWI in that case but a Gallup jury in 2011 found him not guilty of both DWI and homicide in a verdict that shocked a lot of people.

Later relatives of the victim blamed the verdict on the fact that 11 of the members of the jury were Navajo and it was a case of a Navajo being accused of causing the death of a non-Native.

However, jury members said one of the problems they had in the trial was with the testimony of the state police officer, Kenneth Langley, who arrested him.

Originally, Langley said the breathilizer tests showed Begay with a reading of .15 and .15 but in a separate report, he noted it as .16 and .17. Begay's attorney said he believed that was the key to the not guilty verdict.

At the end of the trial, Begay promised the judge in the case that he would not drink and drive again.


Wal-Mart forced to shut down, possible bomb threat

GALLUP – The Wal-Mart in Gallup was shut down for almost two hours on July 25 after what appeared to be a bomb threat.

Gallup police required the store to ask all of its customers as well as all of its staff to leave the building about 6:30 p.m. Staff members were told to go about 400 feet and stay there until the store could be opened again.

No details have been released so far about the threat or what police found but the store was back up and running as normal by 9 p.m.

Wal-Mart employees were saying that this is the first time in several years that they believe that the Gallup Wal-Mart has been forced to shut down because of a bomb threat.


Police investigate stabbing in Ya-Ta-Hey

WINDOW ROCK – Navajo police from Crownpoint are investigating a report of a stabbing that took place north of Yah-Ta-Hey on U.S. Highway 491 Thursday morning.

No details were released except that the victim was transported to the Gallup Indian Medical Center and police have a suspect.


Two plead guilty to robbing Sonic

WINDOW ROCK – Jerrileta Singer, 32, who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty in federal district court in Albuquerque July 25 to robbing the Sonic in Shiprock last November.

Singer and her co-defendant, Eddie Shirley, 28, also from Shiprock, were charged in Dec. 2012 with the armed robbery of the restaurant on Nov. 30, 2012. The two were then indicted and charged with (1) robbery, and (2) using and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

During last Thursday's plea hearing, Singer pleaded guilty to the robbery charge and admitted her role in robbing four individuals in the restaurant by use of force, violence and intimidation and taking money belonging to the restaurant. At sentencing, Singer faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Shirley entered a guilty plea on June 25 to count 2 of the indictment and admitted using a firearm to rob the Sonic Drive-In in Shiprock.

Shirley has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Sept. 23. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Shirley will be sentenced to not less than seven years in prison.



Alamo man faces 10 years for stabbing

GALLUP – Prescott Apachito, 24, of Alamo, pleaded guilty on July 25 to a federal assault charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Apachito was arrested on Feb. 11 based on a criminal complaint charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm. Apachito subsequently was indicted and charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

According to the indictment, Apachito committed the offense on Nov. 29, 2012, in Socorro County, on the Navajo Reservation.

During Thursday's proceedings, Apachito entered a guilty plea to Count 2, charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon.

Apachito admitted that in the early morning hours of Nov. 29, 2012, during an argument with several others, he pulled a utility knife out of his pocket and cut a female victim by slicing her neck.

He further admitted stabbing a male victim in the stomach when the victim attempted to restrain him.

Apachito has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Apachito faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.


Man convicted of child sex abuse

WINDOW ROCK - Timothy Ignacio Duboise, 28, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, who resides in Chichiltah, N.M., was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison followed by six years of supervised release for his aggravated child sexual abuse conviction.

Duboise will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, the FBI initiated a criminal investigation into Duboise after the Navajo Division of Social Service reported an allegation of child sexual assault. Duboise was arrested on July 30, 2012, and has been in federal custody since that time.

Duboise pleaded guilty on Feb. 27 to an aggravated sexual abuse charge and admitted that, between July 15, 2011 and Aug. 15, 2011, he sexually assaulted a Navajo child by touching the child's genitals.

Duboise further admitted that the sexual assault occurred on the Navajo Reservation.


Thoreau man arrested in connection with stabbings

GALLUP - A Thoreau man has been arrested in connection with three stabbings that took place in Gallup on July 27.

Myron Johnson, 45, is accused of stabbing Benjamin Belone, 62, Marlinda Jake, 44 of Thoreau, and Alita Baker, 48, of Church Rock, N.M.

The four had been drinking at Belone's house about 10:30 a.m. when the three victims said Johnson started to get out of hand so Belone asked him to leave.

Johnson became upset and stabbed Belone in the chest and Baker in the back. He left with Jake but police were called to a local Pronto Laundromat where they found Jake with a stab wound to be her back.

Police later interviewed Johnson, who said youngsters jumped him after he left his house. He said he didn't know anything about any stabbings.

He was charged with two counts of aggravated battery and one count of aggravated battery against a household member.

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