Akee and Yazzie plead guilty <br>during jury trial selection

Two Tuba City men suspected of attempted first-degree murder of a Lake Montezuma man in 1998 pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

According to court documents, Jose Ramon Akee, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault and Robertson Yazzie, 20, pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution after reaching a plea agreement with Yavapai Deputy County Attorney Tom Thurston.

Per the plea, charges of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and discharging a firearm were dismissed against Akee. Attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges were dropped against Yazzie.

Akee and Yazzie were accused of allegedly trying to kill a 39-year-old Lake Montezuma man Dec. 5, 1998 as he sat in his car at the McGuireville rest area. Akee, who was the alleged shooter in the case, reportedly fired four shots into the man’s pickup striking him once in the shoulder, court documents state. Both were also suspected of assaulting a hitchhiker at Interstate 17 and Carefree Highway Junction and participating in a shooting that damaged a car at Northern Arizona University earlier that same evening.

Calvin Nez, who was with Akee and Yazzie at the time of the shootings, said Akee and Robertson were “laughing about how the victim (at the rest stop) shook as he was hit by the bullets.”

Akee faces a maximum of eight years and nine months in prison. Yazzie could receive a maximum of two years for hindering prosecution. Restitution in the case is not to exceed $200,000 each.

Both men remain in the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on $50,000 bail. They are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18.

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