U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico
(505) 346-7274
November 7, 2014

Navajo Woman from Colorado Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Abuse Charge in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE—Loreena Ann Yazzie, 27, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Durango, Colo., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a child abuse charge.

Yazzie was arrested on April 7, 2014, on a criminal complaint alleging an assault charge. According to the criminal complaint, Yazzie injured an infant who was a passenger in a vehicle she was driving when Yazzie caused a single-car collision by falling asleep at the wheel. Yazzie allegedly was intoxicated at the time of the collision. The collision occurred on April 2, 2014, south of Shiprock, N.M., which is located within the Navajo Indian Reservation. Yazzie subsequently was indicted and charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and child abuse.

During today’s plea hearing, Yazzie entered a guilty plea to the child abuse charge and admitted placing a child in a situation that endangered the child’s life or health.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Yazzie will be sentenced to a term of probation to be determined by the court. Yazzie’s sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback is prosecuting the case.

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