Hale Nahsonhoya, 22, of Mesa, and a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, was sentenced to 20 years and 10 months in prison in connection with a drunk driving incident in which a man died.
U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow sentenced Nahsonhoya on Sept. 19 after Nahsonhoya pleaded guilty to second degree murder and aggravated assault. The judge also ordered that Nahsonhoya be on supervised probation after his release from jail.
According to Cosme Lopez, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, Nahsonhoya was reportedly driving his vehicle with “extreme, reckless disregard for human life,” which caused a multi-vehicle crash. A man, who was driving his car to church band practice, was killed instantly in the crash, Lopez said. A woman in a third vehicle was seriously injured, hospitalized, and suffered long-term injuries.
The crash occurred on the Salt River Indian Reservation at the intersection of McKellips and Longmore roads in Scottsdale in rush-hour traffic at about 4:45 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2016.
Nahsonhoya was driving his vehicle with his juvenile brother as a passenger. Nahsonhoya had a blood alcohol content of more than .215 percent. He was driving in excess of 85 mph in a 35-mph zone, according to court documents. Just before the crash, Nahsonhoya ran through a stop sign. He did not attempt to stop his vehicle even seconds prior to impact, Lopez said.
The wife of the man who was killed in the crash attended the court proceeding and “paid tribute to her husband of 30 years, highlighting for Judge Snow her husband’s kind-hearted, selfless, and loving life,” Lopez said. She explained to Snow the devastation caused by her husband’s death.
– Shelley Ridenour is a freelance reporter for MyNewsMesa.com.