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Man who killed passenger in 2018 DWI crash gets three-year prison sentence

The defendant is ordered to turn himself into the jail on July 19

FARMINGTON — A San Juan County man convicted of killing his female passenger in a DWI crash has been sentenced to three years in a state prison, a sentence that could lead to the full 15-year sentence if he violates his probation.

Shaydell Pete-Light, 23, was sentenced to three years in the New Mexico Department of Corrections during a July 12 hearing in front of Chief District Court Judge Curtis Gurley in Aztec District Court, according to court documents.

Pete-Light killed 19-year-old Jasmine Lynn Curley, of Chilchinbito, Arizona, when he was driving drunk on the night of Nov. 19, 2018 and crashed his vehicle south of Farmington.

Pete-Light had plead guilty to a second-degree felony count of homicide by vehicle (DWI) as part of a plea agreement during an April 28 hearing. The conviction carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Shellie Patscheck, Pete-Light’s attorney, said in a statement her client deeply regrets his choices and sincerely apologizes for his actions.

“Mr. Pete-Light and I feel that the sentence imposed by Judge Gurley was fair and took into consideration all of the factors surrounding this very tragic situation,” Patscheck said.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien told The Daily Times the prosecution asked the judge to sentence Pete-Light to 10 years in a state prison.

Judge Gurley sentenced Pete-Light to a 15-year prison sentence then suspended all but three years.

Pete-Light will have five years of “intensive supervised probation” when released from prison, according to court documents. If he violates his probation, he could serve the full 15-year sentence.

O’Brien said this was a difficult case for the judge to decide an appropriate sentence for the defendant.

“It's different when somebody is participating in the conduct that results in them dying,” O’Brien said. "That's different than somebody who's not intoxicated, not doing anything walking down the street or driving to work, and then being hit by a drunk driver and killed."

The prosecution consulted with Curley’s family on whether the plea agreement was fair before the April 28 hearing, O’Brien previously told The Daily Times.

The incident happened around 5:08 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2018, when Pete-Light swerved off the roadway and crashed his vehicle near the 104-mile mark of New Mexico Highway 371, near the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry headquarters.

Curley was ejected from the passenger car after it drove down an embankment then crashed into a tree and rolled over once. She was declared dead at the scene and was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

A witness at the scene who began chest compressions on Curley could smell the strong odor of alcohol on the woman, according to court documents.

The defendant had a 0.12 blood alcohol content, above the state limit of 0.08. Pete-Light admitted to drinking eight, 24 oz. cans of beer before driving.

Pete-Light is ordered to turn himself into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center at 8 a.m. on July 19.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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