Shiprock Man Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Federal Assault Conviction
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 14, 2013|
ALBUQUERQUE—Torvold Kellywood, 45, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, New Mexico, was sentenced this afternoon to three years in prison and three years of supervised release for his assault conviction.
Kellywood has been in federal custody since his arrest on a criminal complaint on May 24, 2012. He was indicted on June 12, 2012, and charged with six offenses arising out of two separate incidents during which he assaulted a Navajo woman. Count one of the indictment alleged that Kellywood assaulted the victim with a dangerous weapon on December 14, 2011, by kicking her with a boot.
On September 28, 2012, Kellywood entered a guilty plea to count one of the indictment and admitted that, on December 14, 2011, he kicked the victim with his shoes with the intention of causing her bodily harm. Kellywood acknowledged that, as a result of the assault, the victim sustained a four-inch laceration above her eye that required medical attention. He further admitted that the assault occurred in Shiprock, which is located within the Navajo Indian Reservation.
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 it was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito.
This case was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project, which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women and seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure, and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and it is another step in the Justice Department’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and action on public safety in tribal communities.