Phoenix, Arizona - On July 30, 2012, William John Watchman, 23, of Fort Defiance, Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow to 100 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Watchman pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury on April 25, 2012.
According to the plea agreement, on August 8, 2011, Watchman entered the victim’s bedroom, punched the victim three times, and then grabbed a clothing iron and repeatedly struck the victim in the face and body. Watchman then stomped on the victim’s head and left the residence. The victim suffered extremely serious, long-term injuries.
In fashioning the appropriate sentence in this case, Judge Snow found that the crime was motivated as a hate crime. Judge Snow also found that the crime was committed against a vulnerable victim, based on the victim’s age and disability. Further, the court found that Watchman’s conduct was heinous and deserving of an enhanced sentence.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Navajo Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by Melissa Karlen and Tracy Van Buskirk, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.