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Arapaho inmate files suit against prison officials

Andrew Yellowbear Jr., a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, filed suit in federal court against prison officials in Wyoming, accusing them of an unlawful search.

Yellowbear, who was convicted of murdering his 22-month-old daughter, said the search is tied to a dispute over his religious rights. The state Department of Corrections agreed to allow him to use eagle feathers but one security guard apparently wasn't too happy with a federal court settlement.

"Here is your f------ religious property," the guard allegedly told Yellowbear in returning his eagle feather, according to the lawsuit filed in court on Monday.

Yellowbear filed a complaint after he was searched during the encounter. One of the guards who was involved in the incident has since left the Wyoming State Penitentiary.

Yellowbear is serving a life sentence. He is challenging his conviction in state court on the grounds that his crime occurred in Indian Country.

Get the Story:
Yellowbear alleges improper search (The Casper Star-Tribune 1/28)

Federal Court Decision:
Yellowbear v. Wyoming (March 21, 2008)

State Court Decision:
Yellowbear v. Wyoming (January 14, 2005)

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