Fruitland Man to Serve 48 Months in Prison for Federal Voluntary Manslaughter Conviction
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 26, 2012|
ALBUQUERQUE—Yesterday afternoon, a federal judge sentenced Uriah Upshaw, 20, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Fruitland, New Mexico, to 48 months in prison for this voluntary manslaughter conviction.
Upshaw will be on supervised release for three years after he completes his prison sentence.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Upshaw was convicted of killing Mario Desheuquette, a 32-year-old Navajo man, by striking him with his hands on August 26, 2011. Upshaw was indicted on October 26, 2011, and charged with voluntary manslaughter.
According to court filings, Desheuquette initiated a physical altercation with Upshaw while Desheuquette was intoxicated. After the fight ended, Upshaw went to Desheuquette’s home to retrieve a personal item that Desheuquette had taken from him.
While inside Desheuquette’s home, the physical altercation resumed.
During his plea hearing, Upshaw admitted repeatedly striking Desheuquette about the face and head, and that Desheuquette died as a result of Upshaw’s actions.
The case was investigated by the Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI and the Shiprock Division of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito.