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Former leader of Cedarville Rancheria to stand trial for murders






Cherie Rhoades, the former chairwoman of the Cedarville Rancheria in California. Photo from Alturas Police Department

A judge in California ruled there was enough evidence for Cherie Lash Rhoades, the former chairwoman of the Cedarville Rancheria of California, to stand trial for murdering four people and attempting to murder two others at tribal headquarters.

Rhoades, 44, is accused of killing her brother, Rurik Davis, 50, who succeeded her as chairman. He died after being shot in the head, prosecutors said in court today.

Sheila Russo, 47, the tribe's administrator, also died. She was shot twice, also in the head, prosecutors said.

Rhoades' niece, 19-year-old Angel Penn, died from a single shot to the chest, prosecutors said. Her nephew Glenn Calonico, 30, was shot eight times, including two shots to the chest that caused his death, KRCR-TV reported.

Two other people were also injured -- Melissa Davis was shot four times, and Monica Davis was shot once, prosecutors said. They are daughters of Davis.

The incident occurred on February 20. Authorities say Rhoades was motivated by eviction proceedings that the tribe was taking against her. She was also under investigation for allegedly stealing from the tribe.

If convicted, Rhoades faces the death penalty.

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