Tuba City Man Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Involuntary Manslaughter

Brennan Lee Sumatzkuku, 23, of Tuba City, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes to 36 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.  Sumatzkuku had previously pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter.

On Jan. 22, 2017, Sumatzkuku, an enrolled member of the Hopi Nation, was driving a vehicle with two passengers on the Navajo Nation reservation.  In dark and snowy conditions, Sumatzkuku, whose blood alcohol content was later determined to be .188, drove at a high rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle, causing all three occupants to be ejected.  One victim, 29, an enrolled member of the Hopi Nation, was pronounced dead at the scene, and another victim, 20, also an enrolled member of the Hopi Nation, was seriously injured.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Navajo Nation Department of Criminal Investigations. The prosecution was handled by Christina Covault, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

1 Comment

  1. It’s sad to know the life of a Hopi is only worth 36 months in a federal (resort) prison. No wonder why crime is so rampant on the reservation. Judge Douglas L. Rayes needs to be removed from office – if I had it my way, we’d force him to drive on the res everyday, dodging the drunk drivers. Please remember this the next time you get a ballot asking if this jackass should remain on the bench.

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