A Native American man stabbed his girlfriend to death and nearly killed her father as he tried to protect his daughter. Now, the attacker will head to prison for decades.
Melvin James, 44, was sentenced to 246 months in prison — 20-and-a-half years —after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He was recently sentenced by a federal judge in Arizona.
On Nov. 17, 2018, James was staying at a residence on Navajo Nation land, according to prosecutors. James is a member of the tribe.
That night, James attacked his girlfriend and stabbed her multiple times, prosecutors said. The victim died at the scene from her injuries.
Prosecutors say the victim’s father tried to stop the attack and James stabbed him as well. The father suffered serious injuries.
The victim’s name has not been released.
Once James completes his prison term, he will have to serve three years of supervised release.