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Sheep Springs man pleads guilty to second degree murder in Indian Country

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            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Garrett Neal, 27, of Sheep Springs, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty today to an indictment charging him with second degree murder in Indian Country. 

           According to his plea agreement, on July 12, 2015, Neal and an accomplice engaged in a fight with a man in Sheep Springs on the Navajo Nation.  During the fight, Neal punched and kicked the man while he was on the ground. Neal also hit the victim with rocks and brass knuckles to his head and throat, causing fatal injuries.  Neal admitted that he was aware the victim was trying to breathe, had attempted to run away and did not fight back.  The victim died at the scene as a result of the beating.   

           Neal remains in custody awaiting sentencing.  By the terms of the plea agreement, he faces five to 15 years in federal prison, followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

           The FBI and the Navajo Division of Public Safety investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Novaline D. Wilson is prosecuting the case.


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