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Navajo family cites bias in murder charges


A 16-year-old Navajo girl in Utah has been charged with murder and her family says racism is to blame.

Mae Goodman Johnson was a passenger in a car that was involved in a drive-by shooting. Maria Menchaca, a 7-year-old girl, was killed in the July 6 incident.

Johnson, the driver of the car and another passenger who allegedly pulled the trigger have been charged in connection with Menchaca's murder. Johnson's family wants to know why another passenger wasn't charged.

"The other girl was white. Why did she get to go free when she was there too? Wynema Noriega, Johnson's mother, told local news stations.

Johnson allegedly handed the gun used in the murder to Gabriael Alvarez, 17. Driver Frank Benavidez, 19, was also charged.

Get the Story:
Family says teen was charged because of her race (KSL-TV 9/29)
Courthouse Protesters Claim Teen Charged With Murder Is Innocent (KUTV 9/29)
Hearings set for defendants in drive-by slaying of Salt Lake City girl (The Salt Lake Tribune 9/29)