SHIPROCK — A 34-year-old Shiprock man pleaded guilty Monday in district court to two felony counts for firing shots at his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend and threatening the couple in numerous voice mails.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Peterson Yazzie will be sentenced to 11 years in federal prison on one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and one count of stalking, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Yazzie admitted in the plea agreement that he stalked his former lover on April 12 by leaving 20 messages on her cellphone's voice mail, at one point threatening to "put a bullet in her head." He also admitted that on April 12 he used a rifle to shoot at a vehicle driven by the woman's boyfriend.
Yazzie was in a common-law relationship with the woman for several years, and they have three children together. Shortly before an incident on April 10, the woman decided to move out of the home she shared with Yazzie as the man became increasingly more abusive, according to an affidavit.
At about 8 p.m. on April 10, the woman and her boyfriend arrived at the Flowing Water Casino in Shiprock when they spotted Yazzie and his sister. The woman and her boyfriend decided to leave the casino to avoid a confrontation with Yazzie, but he pursued them in his truck. They escaped to Hogback but found Yazzie standing in the middle of the road with a sledgehammer when they returned to the woman's home, according to the affidavit.
He smashed the car's windshield as they tried to drive around him. They then turned the vehicle around to avoid being blocked in, and he smashed the driver's side door, the affidavit states.
The couple called police, and Yazzie fled the scene.
On April 12, Yazzie's ex-girlfriend started receiving threatening voice messages from a private phone number. She told detectives in the affidavit the caller was Yazzie.
Later that day, the victim's boyfriend told police he was driving on U.S. Highway 491 when Yazzie and a man he recognized as "Tony" began pursuing him in a truck. He tried to lose them by turning around on a dirt road.
Yazzie allegedly exited the truck with a rifle and fired several rounds at the boyfriend as he sped past him. Police later found there was an inch-wide hole in the driver's side door of the boyfriend's vehicle and discovered several bullet casings at the scene of the confrontation.
Yazzie was arrested on April 24, according to the press release.
The case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David Adams prosecuted the case.