United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico

07/25/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/26/2017 15:53

Kewa Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charge

ALBUQUERQUE - Chad L. Lovato, 23, an enrolled member of Kewa Pueblo from Santo Domingo, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to an assault charge. Lovato's plea agreement recommends a sentence of a year and a day in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Lovato was arrested on Feb. 4, 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with assaulting three Kewa Pueblo tribal members with a firearm on Jan. 23, 2017, on the Kewa Pueblo in Sandoval County, N.M. According to the complaint, Lovato assaulted the tribal members by brandishing a firearm at them while a tribal official was transporting Lovato to the Governor's Chambers in Kewa Pueblo. The complaint further alleges that Lovato engaged in a lengthy standoff in the Governor's Chambers before law enforcement officers were able to take Lovato into custody safely.

During today's proceedings, Lovato pled guilty to an information charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon. In entering the guilty plea, Lovato admitted that on Jan. 23, 2017, he assaulted a Kewa Pueblo tribal official with a BB gun with intent to do bodily harm. Lovato admitted that he pointed and aimed the BB gun at the victim, and then barricaded himself in the Tribal Governor's office until he was apprehended by law enforcement. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA's Office of Justice Services and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa Dimas.