Gallup man pleads guilty in fatal car accident

June 25, 2013 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Gallup man has pleaded guilty second-degree murder in connection with a fatal car accident and is facing up to a 12-year prison sentence.

Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Thomas Benally [auth] entered into a plea agreement Monday.

Benally and a co-defendant were indicted in March 2012.

Prosecutors say Benally was driving under the influence of alcohol and ran over a 71-year-old man while backing up a truck on the Navajo Nation in early October 2010.

Benally also was accused of driving away from the scene without checking on the victim’s condition or calling authorities. The victim’s body was found by a passer-by on Oct. 7, 2010.

Prosecutors say Benally’s sentencing date hasn’t been set yet and is facing a prison term of between 10 and 12 years.

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