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Enrolled member of the Navajo Nation pleads guilty to second degree murder in Indian Country

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Mathias Neal, 21, from Sheep Springs, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty in federal court on June 3 to an information charging him with second degree murder in Indian Country.

According to his plea agreement, on or about July 12, 2015, Neal and an accomplice got into a physical altercation with John Doe while at a chapter house, a local governance building, in San Juan County, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation. During the altercation, Neal punched and kicked the victim while he was on the ground and hit him with brass knuckles and rocks to his head and throat, causing fatal injuries. Neal admitted being aware that John Doe tried to run away and not fight back. As a result of the beating, John Doe died at the scene and was dragged to a windmill area by Neal and his accomplice.

Neal is currently in custody awaiting sentencing, which has not been scheduled yet. He faces life in prison.

The case was investigated by the Farmington Office of the FBI and the Navajo Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Novaline D. Wilson is prosecuting the case.

Information from Department of Justice