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Shiprock man pleads guilty in Navajo woman’s death

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Shiprock man has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of a woman on the Navajo Nation last year.

Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Elvan Hovel entered into a plea agreement in the case Thursday.

Hovel was arrested in August on a criminal complaint charging him with second-degree murder.

He was accused of pushing 48-year-old woman into an irrigation canal where she drowned on July 22, 2012.

Authorities say Hovel and the woman both were intoxicated and arguing and Hovel didn’t make any effort to rescue the victim.

Prosecutors say Hovel will be sentenced to five years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

He remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

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