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Date: 05-21-2019

Case Style:

United States of America v. Kenric Lee

Case Number: 4:18-cr-00079-DN-CMR

Judge: David Nuffer

Court: United States District Court for the District of Utah (Salt Lake County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Stephen L. Nelson and Thaddeus J. May

Defendant's Attorney: Mark R. Moffat


Salt Lake City, UT - Navajo Nation Man Pleads Guilty To Voluntary Manslaughter In Stabbing Death Of Uncle, Faces 110 Months In Federal Prison

Kenric Lee, age 41, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Thursday to voluntary manslaughter.

In a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors, Lee admitted that on June 7, 2018, he killed his uncle during an argument in a vehicle. His uncle, also an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, is identified as J.L. in court documents. Lee admitted that he went with J.L. and J.L.ís girlfriend, C.H., to a convenience store in Montezuma Creek, Utah. While C.H. was in the store, a quarrel erupted between Lee and J.L., while they were sitting in the vehicle.

According to prosecutors, when C.H. returned to the car she saw Lee on top of the victim. She also noticed Lee was holding a black knife. Lee said he needed to take J.L. to a hospital. Although there was a medical clinic next door to the store, Lee locked the doors of the vehicle and drove away with J.L. in the car.

Later that morning, the FBI and Navajo Nation police officers received information about a burning vehicle. Agents and officers responded to the location and found a burning Ford Expedition. Lee was found about 30 yards from the vehicle with two knives in his possession. Lee was taken into custody after initially resisting arrest. As a part of his plea agreement, Lee admitted that as a result of his actions, his uncle received two stab wounds to his chest which resulted in his death.

Later that evening, J.L.ís body was located later in a grove of bushes a few miles away from the incinerated vehicle.

A federal grand jury returned a single-count indictment in August 2018 charging Lee with murder in the second degree in connection with J.L.ís death. Lee pleaded guilty last week to a Felony Information count of Voluntary Manslaughter while in Indian Country.

The plea includes a stipulated sentence of 110 months in federal prison, which is subject to the approval and acceptance of U.S. District Judge David Nuffer at the sentencing hearing in August.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Utah are prosecuting the case. Special Agents of the FBI and Navajo Nation Police Officers and Criminal Investigators are investigating the case.


18:1111(a) and 1153(a) MURDER, SECOND DEGREE Murder in the Second Degree While Within Indian Country
18:1112 and 1153 VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER Voluntary Manslaughter While Within Indian Country

Outcome: Guilty

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:


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