Home Albuquerque Press Releases 2012 Pinedale Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Murdering Girlfriend

Pinedale Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Murdering Girlfriend

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 26, 2012
  • District of New Mexico (505) 346-7274

ALBUQUERQUE—This morning, a federal judge sentenced Mac Arthur Cooke, 37, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pinedale, New Mexico, to 14 years in prison for his second-degree murder conviction.

Cooke will be on supervised release for five years after he completes his prison sentence.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Cooke pleaded guilty to the January 13, 2012, killing of Vivian Watson, a 29-year-old Navajo woman, in Vanderwagen, New Mexico, which is located within the Navajo Indian Reservation.

According to court filings, Cooke used an axe to kill Ms. Watson, his girlfriend of two years. In entering his guilty plea, Cooke admitted that, during an argument with Ms. Watson, he killed her by hitting her in the head with an axe. Cooke has been in federal custody since his arrest on February 9, 2012.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Wishard prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI, with assistance from the Crownpoint Division of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety.