Arizona man pleads guilty to fatal DWI crash after drinking alcohol in Farmington

Defendant could face up to eight years in federal prison

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Maroquez Clah, 28, of Red Valley, Arizona, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter during a Sept. 21 hearing in Albuquerque federal court.
  • Clah was arrested on Feb. 14 for allegedly killing a person only identified with the initials of "DC" and a year of birth of 1997 when Clah lost control of his vehicle on Navajo Route 13 near Mitten Rock.
  • A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled in the case. Clah could serve up to eight years in a federal prison.

FARMINGTON — An Arizona man pleaded guilty to killing a person while driving drunk in August 2019 after drinking alcohol for hours inside a Farmington residence. His passenger died when the pickup truck he was driving rolled multiple times.

Maroquez Clah, 28, of Red Valley, Arizona, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter during a Sept. 21 hearing in Albuquerque federal court, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release and court documents.

Clah was arrested on Feb. 14 for allegedly killing a person only identified with the initials of "DC" and the year of birth of 1997 when he lost control of his vehicle on Navajo Route 13 near Mitten Rock, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The affidavit was first reported by www.nmhomicide.com.

A FBI special agent on Aug. 30, 2019, was notified of a single vehicle crash that occurred on Navajo Route 13 earlier that day.

Clah was driving a white Ford pickup truck when he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll several times and killing the passenger.

Clah was taken to a hospital for treatment including a broken leg and other injuries.

The defendant had a blood alcohol content of 0.258 at the hospital. Consuming alcohol is illegal on the Navajo Nation and the legal limit in New Mexico is 0.08.

The FBI agent interviewed Clah, who admitted to drinking alcohol for most of Aug. 29 at a Farmington residence before trying to drive to Red Valley, Arizona.

He also stated he was drinking vodka about six hours before driving home, when he lost control of the vehicle while driving about 70 mph.

Clah admitted to killing the person while driving carelessly and under the influence of alcohol during the Sept. 21 plea hearing.

A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled in the case. Clah could serve up to eight years in a federal prison. 

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Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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