Home Phoenix Press Releases 2013 Tohono O’odham Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Killing Rival Gang Member

Tohono O’odham Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Killing Rival Gang Member

U.S. Attorney’s Office January 29, 2013
  • District of Arizona (602) 514-7500

TUCSON, AZ—On January 28, 2013, Jalen Michael Montana, 36, of Sells, Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson to 15 years in the federal Bureau of Prisons. Montana was sentenced following a guilty plea on September 10, 2012, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter for the New Year’s Eve stabbing of another Tohono O’odham member.

On December 31, 2009, Montana and the 17-year-old victim, members of rival gangs, were both attending a dance on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. Following a brief confrontation earlier that evening, Montana re-approached the victim on the dance floor, just as midnight approached, and stabbed him twice in the chest. Tohono O’odham police arrived minutes later and began administering CPR. However, the victim’s heart had been punctured and he died almost immediately. Montana fled the scene. He was eventually captured by Tohono O’odham authorities and indicted for murder by a federal grand jury on May 11, 2011.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Tohono O’odham Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tucson Resident Agency. The prosecution was handled by Micah Schmit, District of Arizona, Tucson.