Sunday, July 11, 2021

Pinedale woman charged in knife attack in Indian Country

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Valerie Arthur, 35, of Pinedale, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, appeared at a preliminary hearing today in federal court where she was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country. Arthur will remain in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for July 13.

           According to a criminal complaint, on July 4, at least twice Arthur allegedly approached and was asked to leave a neighboring house where a family was cooking outside. Arthur allegedly returned to the house armed with a knife and on the front porch stabbed a victim in the neck and arm. Arthur then allegedly pursued another victim inside the home and stabbed her in the neck, back and face. When the second victim’s 10-year old son and eight-year old daughter attempted to defend their mother, Arthur allegedly stabbed the children as well.

          All of the victims were taken to Gallup Indian Medical Center for treatment.

          A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Arthur faces up to 10 years in prison.

          The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Novaline Wilson is prosecuting this case.

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