Phoenix, Arizona - On February 4, 2019, Jayson Lee Yazzie, 40, of Tuba City, Arizona, a member of the Navajo Nation, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Diane J. Humetewa to 216 months in prison, followed by a term of three years of supervised release. Yazzie had previously pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
On June 14, 2014, Yazzie was driving while intoxicated and traveling at a speed in excess of 75 miles per hour when he struck another vehicle. Two victims in the other vehicle were ejected due to the collision, including a minor passenger who sustained fatal injuries, and the driver, who sustained serious bodily injuries. Two additional victims who were passengers in Yazzie’s vehicle also sustained serious bodily injuries. Yazzie’s blood was drawn more than three hours after the crash and his blood alcohol content was higher than .20%. Yazzie had previously been convicted of driving under the influence. The victims are members of the Navajo Nation and the collision happened on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Navajo Nation Department of Law Enforcement, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The prosecution was handled by Christina J. Reid-Moore, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.