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National
Indian bishop changes story about Gallup injuries


Donald Pelotte, who was the first American Indian bishop of the Catholic Church, now admits that injuries he sustained at his former home in Gallup, New Mexico, weren't accidental.

Newly released photographs show a severely injured Pelotte on a hospital bed. It appears he was the victim of a brutal beating and not the accidental fall that he previously claimed.

“When you see those pictures there’s no way that I could have gotten that damage by falling down the stairs,” Pelotte told KRQE reporter Larry Barker. “But I don’t remember that.”

Pelotte, who is Abenaki from Maine, essentially admits that someone beat him up on July 23, 2007. “You’ll never find him,” said the bishop, who resigned after the incident and moved to Florida.

He said he plans to return to New Mexico to continue working in Indian communities. "That's why I was sent there in the first place," he said.

Barker obtained the photos after filing a public records lawsuit. They were aired on KRQE on Monday night.

Get the Story:
Pelotte photos go prime time (The Gallup Independent 7/29)

Related Stories:
Donald Pelotte, first Indian bishop, resigns (5/1)
Catholic church mum on bishop's injuries (8/6)
Native bishop insists injuries were accidental (7/31)