St. Michaels, Arizona Man Charged with Second Degree Murder and Assault
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 29, 2009|
PHOENIX—A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a three-count indictment today against Jordan Tyler Tabaha, 19, of St. Michaels, Arizona, for Second Degree Murder, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.
The indictment alleges that Tabaha, a member of the Navajo Nation, stabbed the victim multiple times during the early morning hours of November 28, 2009, on Navajo tribal land. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. While Window Rock criminal investigators and Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were processing the scene of the homicide, Tabaha walked into the residence where the stabbing occurred with what appeared to be blood on his hands and head. When asked by the FBI where the blood came from, Tabaha stated “I did it, fool. I did it.”
A conviction for Second Degree Murder carries a maximum penalty of up to life in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Convictions for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury both carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, the assigned judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Navajo Division of Public Safety - Department of Criminal Investigations, the Window Rock Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Christina J. Reid-Moore, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.