Man admits to killing man outside chapter house in Sheep Springs in 2015

The conviction carries a max sentence of life in prison

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
The Tooh Haltsooí Chapter house in Sheep Springs.
  • Mathias Neal, 21, entered his guilty plea during a June 3 hearing in Albuquerque federal court.
  • Neal shared some of the details of the murder in defendant’s admission of facts in the plea agreement.
  • A sentencing hearing in the case has not been scheduled.

FARMINGTON — A Sheep Springs man has pleaded guilty to beating a man to death at the chapter house in Sheep Springs and is seeking a recommended five-year prison sentence.

Mathias Neal, 21, entered his guilty plea during a June 3 hearing in Albuquerque federal court, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Neal signed a plea agreement with the DOJ that was filed on June 3. No criminal complaint or indictment was filed in the case.

Neal shared some of the details of the murder in the defendant’s admission of facts in the plea agreement.

Neal wrote on or around July 12, 2015, he and an unidentified male identified as “G.N.” got into a physical altercation with the unidentified male victim, who was identified as “John Doe.”

The fight occurred at the Tooh Haltsooí Chapter house. Neal admitted to kicking and punching John Doe’s body while he was on the ground.

Both men used brass knuckles and rocks to strike John Doe in his throat. The man’s cause of death was blunt force trauma, according to court documents.

“John Doe tried to run away and did not fight back,” Neal wrote in the plea agreement.

The men dragged the victim’s body to the area near a windmill and abandoned him.

The DOJ press release states the second-degree murder conviction carries a sentence of up to life in a federal prison.

The plea agreement states that the prosecution and defense recommended a five-year prison sentence for Neal as part of the plea agreement.

A sentencing hearing in the case has not been scheduled.

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.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e