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Murder charge in Navajo Nation stabbing death

Murder charge in Navajo Nation stabbing death

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A Navajo Nation man is in jail after allegedly stabbing his brother to death during a fight Friday.

According to a complaint filed Monday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Flagstaff, the suspect, his brother, and several other men and boys gathered at the victim's Chinle home on Friday afternoon. Witnesses said the suspect and his brother, Preston Draper, had been drinking and arguing, and Draper tried to entice his brother in a fight. The man initially refused to fight, but then "snapped" and became aggressive. A witness said he thought he was punching Draper, but then he saw a knife in the man's hand and realized he had stabbed him. Another witness said he saw the suspect stab his brother three more times after he fell onto a couch, the complaint stated.

The suspect left with two of the other men, but tribal police soon found the suspect several miles away, walking on a road toward Nazlini, where he lives.

Draper was taken to the hospital in Chinle, where he died of the four stab wounds to his side and back.

Wendell Draper, age not given, was federally charged with second-degree murder.

— Sun staff report

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