Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
ads@blueearthmarketing.com   712.224.5420

Law
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)

Related Stories:
Convicted man wants to join Northern Arapaho suit (10/20)
City wants to join Northern Arapaho lawsuit (10/10)
Border city might join Northern Arapaho lawsuit (10/6)
Northern Arapaho Tribe files Indian Country suit (10/2)
Appeals court reopens Wyoming border town murder case (3/26)
Court upholds state jurisdiction in Arapaho man's murder case (1/15)
Federal judge won't intervene in state prosecution (6/15)
Hundreds walk in memory of slain Shoshone child (7/5)
Federal judge won't intervene in state prosecution (6/15)
Wyoming tribes dispute state prosecution of murder (05/01)
Arapaho man convicted of daughter's murder (04/03)
Jury sees mother confessing to daughter's murder (3/23)
Arapaho man heads to trial for murder of daughter (03/06)
Judge won't move Arapaho man's murder trial (02/16)
Judge affirms state jurisdiction in murder case (01/24)
State jurisdiction at issue in Wyoming murder case (11/17)
Utah court blocks state jurisdiction on hunting (11/11)
Witness dispute in tribal member's murder trial (10/19)
Judge agrees to move tribal member's murder trial (08/23)