Mexican Springs man pleads guilty to manslaughter

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Quinten Smith, 22, of Mexican Springs, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty today in federal court to voluntary manslaughter in Indian Country. Smith will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

A federal grand jury indicted Smith on Oct. 19, 2021. According to the plea agreement and other court records, on Sept. 24, 2021, Smith and other family members went to the home of the victim, identified as John Doe, to confront him for allegedly assaulting Smith’s mother. When they arrived at the home, a physical altercation ensued. During the fight, Smith stabbed the victim multiple times in the back with a pocketknife. Smith and the others fled the home immediately.

John Doe, who was also an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was found deceased in his home later that day. The killing occurred on the Navajo Nation.

Smith faces up to 15 years in prison.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office and the Navajo Police Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case.

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