The fatal stabbing occurred in October last y ear

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FARMINGTON — A Shiprock man pleaded guilty to stabbing his brother to death during a drunken argument in October.

Patrick Yellowhair, 37, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Friday in Albuquerque federal court for the death of his 40-year-old brother, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release. The brother's name was not included in court documents.

Yellowhair was initially charged with second-degree murder on Oct. 4 after stabbing his brother twice with a knife on or around Oct. 3 at a residence on Farm Road in Shiprock, according to court documents.

Officers for the Navajo Police Department received a call in the early morning hours of Oct. 3, 2018, to respond to a residence. A male victim was found lying motionless on the living room floor, according to court documents.

Yellowhair stated in his plea agreement that he stabbed his brother twice on his left shoulder and neck.

Several witnesses were interviewed that were inside the residence at the time of the fatal stabbing and identified Yellowhair as the suspect.

Witnesses stated about 3 p.m. on Oct. 2, someone came to the residence with a 30 pack of beer and a liter of vodka.

The victim and Yellowhair started to argue later that afternoon and started scuffling together and throwing punches and wrestling, then stopped, according to court documents.

Later that night, a witness stated the incident occurred after the victim tried to convince Yellowhair to drink alcohol.

A witness said Yellowhair yelled at the victim, stating something to the effect of "why don't you just go home?" with him, according to court documents.

One witness heard someone go into the kitchen then walk to the victim's bedroom and heard the victim say, "Aw man, you stabbed me!"

Yellowhair changed clothes then fled the scene. He was later located hiding in the bushes outside the residence.

A knife was located on the floor of the victim's bedroom, next to several large droplets of what appeared to be blood.

A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled and Yellowhair faces up to 15 years in prison.

The Navajo Nation Police Department investigated the case along with the FBI.

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

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