Upper Fruitland Man to Serve 11 Years in Prison for Manslaughter, Abusive Sexual Contact Convictions
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 18, 2012|
ALBUQUERQUE—This morning, a federal judge sentenced Lamuel Thomas, 27, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, to 11 years of imprisonment for his convictions on involuntary manslaughter and abusive sexual contact charges.
Thomas will be on supervised release for 10 years after completing his prison sentence. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that, on July 17, 2012, Thomas pled guilty to killing a 70-year-old Navajo woman on November 9, 2010, while driving under the influence of alcohol on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County. He also pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a 13-year-old child on March 2, 2011, in a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation.
During his plea hearing, Thomas admitted that, on the night of November 9, 2010, he drove a truck along a rural highway on the Navajo Indian Reservation after drinking a large amount of alcohol and smoking marijuana. He crossed into the lane of oncoming traffic and struck a car head-on.
The driver of the car, who was returning home from work, died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the crash.
At the time of the crash, Thomas’ blood alcohol concentration was more than twice the legal limit of .08. Thomas also admitted that in the early morning hours of March 2, 2011, he inappropriately touched a 13-year-old while he was an overnight guest of the victim’s parents.
The case was investigated by the Farmington Office of the FBI and Shiprock Division of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark T. Baker and Jacob A. Wishard.