Mescalero Apache Woman Sentenced to 24 Months in Federal Prison on Assault Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE—Tenya Lester-Gonzalez, 38, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, to 24 months in federal prison ,followed by three years of supervised release for her assault conviction.
Lester-Gonzalez was charged with federal assault offenses in a criminal complaint filed on September 18, 2012, and was arrested on January 30, 2013, after she was transferred from tribal custody to federal custody. The criminal complaint alleged that Lester-Gonzalez assaulted her husband by striking him in the head with a hatchet on March 30, 2012, at their home in Mescalero, New Mexico, following an argument that escalated into a physical confrontation. The victim sustained a large cut about four inches long and a quarter inch wide on his face as a result of the assault.
On June 6, 2013, Lester-Gonzalez entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging her with assault with a dangerous weapon. In her plea agreement, Lester-Gonzalez admitted assaulting the victim with a hatchet on March 30, 2012, with the intention of causing him bodily harm.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces Office of the FBI and the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan, of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.