ALBUQUERQUE – Jeffrey Reed Palmer, 35, an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to a domestic assault by a habitual offender charge.
Palmer was arrested on April 27, 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with domestic assault of an intimate partner by a habitual offender. According to the criminal complaint, Palmer caused the victim to suffer a contusion to the nose and a minor head injury. Palmer committed the crime on Aug. 4, 2016, on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in Otero County, N.M. Palmer was charged as a habitual offender based on his two prior domestic violence convictions in Jan. 2014, from the Lincoln County Magistrate Court, and in Nov. 2009, from the Twelfth Judicial District court in Otero County.
During today’s proceedings, Palmer pled guilty to a felony information charging him with domestic assault by a habitual offender. In entering the guilty plea, Palmer admitted that on Aug. 4, 2016, he assaulted his intimate partner. Palmer also admitted that he was previously convicted on a battery against a household member charge in Alamogordo, N.M., in 2009, and again in Ruidoso, N.M., in 2014.
At sentencing, Palmer faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico, which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both. The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of New Mexico