Shiprock Man Receives 168-Month Prison Sentence for Second-Degree Murder Conviction
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 27, 2011|
ALBUQUERQUE—U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, this morning, a federal judge sentenced Gary Redhorse John Begay, 26, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation from Shiprock, N.M., to 168 months’ imprisonment for his second-degree murder conviction. Begay will be on supervised release for five years after he completes his prison sentence. Begay has been in federal custody since his arrest on December 17, 2010.
Begay initially was charged with murder in a criminal complaint filed on December 20, 2010, and subsequently was indicted and charged with (1) second-degree murder of Allen Ashike, also a member of the Navajo Nation, and (2) using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
Court filing reflect that, late in the evening on December 16, 2010, Begay and Ashike were drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at a Shiprock residence. When Ashike became verbally abusive towards Begay, Begay pulled out a handgun, loaded it and shot Ashike. The next morning, Begay went to a neighbor’s house, told the neighbor that he had just shot a person, and requested a ride to Farmington. The neighbor reported Begay’s admission to the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety (NNDPS) and said that she would be driving Begay to a gas station. Officers of the NNDPS arrested Begay at the gas station.
On July 27, 2011, Begay entered a guilty plea to count one of the indictment charging him with second-degree murder, and admitted taking a handgun, pointing the handgun at Ashike, and firing and missing Ashike. Begay fired the handgun a second time, hitting Ashike in the stomach; and then fired the handgun a third time, striking Ashike in the chest.
The court dismissed count two of the indictment after Begay was sentenced.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NNDPS, Shiprock Division, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana B. Long.