Suspect was allegedly intoxicated when the incident occurred


FARMINGTON — A male was stabbed to death earlier this month after allegedly getting into a fight with an intoxicated male at a residence in Shiprock.

Zachariah Stanley Joe, 27, of Shiprock was charged with murder on Jan. 4 following an investigation by the FBI and the Navajo Department of Public Safety, according to the criminal complaint.

He is accused of stabbing a man several times on the night of Jan. 3 at a residence west of the Thatsaburger restaurant on U.S. Highway 491 in Shiprock, according to court documents.

The FBI arrested Joe on Jan. 5 in Shiprock with the assistance of Navajo criminal investigators, according to FBI spokesman Frank Fisher. 

The stabbing victim, identified as John Doe in the criminal complaint, had 10 puncture/laceration wounds and was pronounced dead at the Northern Navajo Medical Center.

Joe allegedly showed up at the residence intoxicated and was "extremely upset" after he was fired from his job earlier in the day.

Joe was allegedly hanging out with the stabbing victim when he struck the man in the face with the back of his hand.

A witness told investigators he intervened and punched Joe several times in the head then wrestled with the suspect to allow the alleged victim to exit the residence.

The witnesses who spoke to investigators did not describe the alleged stabbing but described events before and after the alleged incident, according to court documents.

The homeowner stated he arrived at his residence that evening and found Joe kicking the alleged victim on the ground outside the residence.

The homeowner exited the vehicle and pushed Joe away from the alleged victim. He helped the alleged victim stand up and noticed he was bleeding.  

The alleged victim was helped into a vehicle and transported to the hospital.

The homeowner later noticed a kitchen knife was missing from a kitchen drawer. The knife was not located, according to court documents.

Joe had his first appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Paul Briones on the morning of Jan. 7 and waived his preliminary hearing in Albuquerque federal court on Wednesday, according to court documents.

Joe was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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