Shiprock man pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault in 2011 stabbing

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A 26-year-old Shiprock man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to time served and two years of probation for attacking another man with a knife in November 2011, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

James Sorrelhorse Jr. was arrested Feb. 17 and charged in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico with assault with a dangerous weapon, according to court records.

He pleaded guilty on April 17 to misdemeanor assault in a plea agreement with prosecutors.

According to the criminal complaint, Shiprock police were dispatched shortly after midnight on Nov. 20, 2011, to South Dine Housing in Shiprock after receiving reports that Sorrelhorse had stabbed another man, not identified in the complaint, and fled the scene.

A witness, also not identified, told police at the scene that Sorrelhorse entered a bedroom where the witness and the victim were asleep and began shouting at them.

A fight ensued, and Sorrelhorse allegedly yelled, "I'm going to grab a knife and take care of this," according to the complaint.

The witness told police Sorrelhorse grabbed a knife from the kitchen and hit the victim in the forehead with the knife handle, which caused a long laceration from the top of his forehead down to his right cheekbone.

The victim also had cuts to his left ear and the underside of his right arm, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Sorrelhorse previously pleaded guilty in Navajo Court to aggravated battery, battery and endangering the welfare of a minor in connection to the incident.

A federal judge agreed at sentencing to give Sorrelhorse credit for 131 days served in prison.

Sorrelhorse's court-appointed attorney said in a sentencing memorandum filed Friday that Sorrelhorse has agreed to enter a six month residential treatment program.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.