ALBUQUERQUE – Nochise Martinez, 23, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Ramah, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a voluntary manslaughter charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Martinez will be sentenced to 48 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Martinez was arrested on Jan. 4, 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with killing a Navajo man on the Ramah Navajo Indian Reservation in Cibola County, N.M., on Dec. 31, 2016. According to the criminal complaint, Martinez stabbed the victim multiple times during a fight.
During today’s proceedings, Martinez pled guilty to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter. In entering the guilty plea, Martinez admitted that on Dec. 31, 2016, he killed the victim by stabbing him in the chest with a knife during a fight between the two men. Martinez remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Spindle.