Shiprock resident pleads guilty to stabbing man to death in January

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Zachariah Joe

FARMINGTON — A Shiprock man pleaded guilty on Oct. 31 in federal court in Albuquerque to a second-degree murder charge, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Zachariah Stanley Joe, 28, was charged in connection to a stabbing that occurred on Jan. 3 at a residence west of the Thatsaburger restaurant in Shiprock, according to court documents.

The criminal complaint states that Joe allegedly arrived at the residence intoxicated and was upset that he was fired from his job earlier in the day.

The press release states that in a plea agreement, Joe admitted that while drinking he got into a fight with the victim at the residence.

After locking the victim and another man out of the home, Joe admitted he armed himself with a kitchen knife then went outside, where he stabbed the victim approximately 10 times.

The victim was transported to Northern Navajo Medical Center and was pronounced dead, according to The Daily Times archives.

The parties agreed in the plea agreement that Joe should be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, the Justice Department press release states.

Joe will remain in custody pending a sentencing hearing, according to the press release.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at

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