Appeals courts issue decisions in Indian criminal defendant cases

Some recent appeals court decisions in Indian criminal cases.

Murder case from Colville Reservation
In an unpublished decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the second-degree murder conviction of Ryan Seideman, rejecting numerous challenges to the evidence presented at trial.

Seidman was 24 years old when he was sentenced to 327 months in prison for murdering Lillian Jolene Lee, 46, who was a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. She had been repeatedly stabbed and sexually assaulted in March 2006.

9th Circuit Decision:
US v. Seideman (June 27, 2012)

Domestic violence case from Northern Cheyenne Reservation
In another unpublished opinion, the 9th Circuit upheld a 57-month sentence for Aldin Ray Two Moons, Sr. on two counts of domestic assault by a habitual offender. Two Moons has a history of domestic violence, the court noted in affirming sentencing enhancements.

9th Circuit Decision:
US v. Two Moons (June 26, 2012)

Domestic violence case from Standing Rock Sioux Reservation
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an 84-month sentence for Boyd William White Twin, who was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon.

White Twin reached a plea agreement but challenged upwards departures in his sentence for attacking his common-law wife with a wife. He specifically claimed that he given additional time for smiling in court but the 8th Circuit rejected his arguments.

"A district court may consider a defendant’s attitude and demeanor when exercising its sentencing discretion," the decision stated. "The district court based its increase in the sentence not solely on the smile, but a combination of it and other factors," the court added.

8th Circuit Decision:
US v. White Twin (June 27, 2012)