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Navajo man sentenced to three years in prison for assault

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               ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Lyle Ryan Begaye, 44, of Tohlakai, New Mexico, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation of Fort Defiance, Arizona, was sentenced on June 2 in federal court to three years and 10 months in prison for assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country. Begaye pleaded guilty on Nov. 2, 2020.

              In his plea agreement, Begaye admitted to assaulting the victim on June 1, 2020, in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Begaye became jealous and struck the victim with his fist approximately 30 times on multiple parts of her body. Begaye struck the victim once for each letter in the first and last name of three men he believed she was being unfaithful with. Begaye then physically prevented the victim from leaving the residence.  The victim was allowed to seek medical treatment only after assuring Begaye that she would not contact law enforcement. Begaye’s assault caused serious injuries, including fractures to the victim’s spine, broken ribs, extreme pain and hemorrhaging.

               Emphasizing Begaye’s prior criminal history as “a serial terrorizer of women,” the court ordered Begaye to serve 200 hours of community service, which the court desired to be applied to battered women’s shelters. Upon his release from prison, Begaye will be subject to three years of supervised release.

               The Albuquerque Field Office of the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Aliberti prosecuted the case.


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