New Mexico shooting case bound over to district court 5-25-07

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) - The case of a Shiprock man who's accused of leading authorities on a high-speed chase that ended with the wounding of a San Juan County sheriff's deputy has been bound over to state district court.

Lionel Clah's attorney waived a preliminary hearing in magistrate court Thursday, setting the stage for Clah's appearance in district court.

Clah, 20, faces numerous counts of battery on a peace officer, assault with intent to commit a violent felony, shooting at or from a vehicle and other charges. He also faces federal charges related to the May 12 incident.

Clah was being held at the San Juan County jail, where he reportedly told a friend about the chase and the shooting during a recorded jail telephone call, according to court documents.

Clah said he took off when he saw police and he reportedly admitted to shooting at sheriff's Sgt. Kory Faulk, an arrest affidavit states. He asked his friend if the deputy was dead.

Faulk was briefly hospitalized for gunshot wounds to his nose and hand.

Clah's co-defendant, Krishana John, 16, also faces charges that she shot at police during the chase. She's being detained by Navajo authorities; the district attorney's office was waiting for the tribe to sign extradition paperwork.

The chase began in Bloomfield after local police tried to stop Clah's vehicle at a coin-operated laundry. Clah then sped through city streets, county roads and state highways, until reaching the Navajo Nation.

In the recorded phone call, Clah also talked about John's alleged involvement. The affidavit states that Clah mentioned one of the officers using a Taser on John and that John had gotten a gun and shot at police.

Assistant District Attorney Marguerite Carr said her office intends to prosecute John as an adult.