FARMINGTON — A 31-year-old Fruitland man was sentenced Monday to 22 years and six months in federal prison for murdering a two-year-old boy in August 2013.
According to the criminal complaint, Jason Yazzie was babysitting the boy on Aug. 2, 2013, when he struck the child in the chest several times and threw him across the room. The boy sustained severe injuries to his chest, abdomen, head and neck as a result of the abuse. Yazzie brought the boy to Northern Navajo Medical Center, but hospital staff were unable to revive him.
Yazzie admitted in a plea agreement reached in April that he acted out of frustration in the heat of passion, causing the child's death.
Yazzie is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, according to the criminal complaint, and the incident took place on the Navajo Nation.
The case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito prosecuted the case.