ALBUQUERQUE—This afternoon, a federal judge sentenced Julian Bahe, 20, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in China Springs, New Mexico, to seven years in prison for his involuntary manslaughter conviction. Bahe will be on supervised release for three years after he completes his prison sentence.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Bahe killed Billy Boyd, a 59-year-old Navajo man, on November 20, 2010, when he set fire to a van parked outside his grandmother’s residence in China Springs in the Navajo Indian Reservation.
On May 11, 2012, Bahe entered a guilty plea to a criminal information charging him with involuntary manslaughter. In his plea agreement, Bahe admitted that on the night of November 20, 2010, he intentionally set fire to a van parked outside his grandmother’s home because he was angry with his grandmother. According to the plea agreement, earlier that day, Bahe had an argument with his grandmother while his grandmother, Billy Boyd, and Bahe were in the van, socializing and drinking alcohol. Bahe returned later that night with a gas can, poured gas into the van’s window, and ignited the gas. At the time, Bahe assumed that the van was empty because he did not see any lights in the van and did not hear anyone. He later learned that Billy Boyd was asleep in the van and died in the fire.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Crownpoint Division of the Navajo Department of Public Safety and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark T. Baker.