Appeals court rejects new trial in case over Native jury
An Alaska Native man whose trial was moved 450 miles away from his Native community lost his bid to overturn his assault conviction.

Gregory Lestenkof wanted to be tried among his peers on the remote St. Paul island. But the judge who handled the case was unable to find a suitable jury so he moved the trial to the Alaska mainland.

In a 2-1 decision, the Alaska Court of Appeals said Superior Court Judge William Morse made a "reasonable diligent attempt" to seat a jury. But one judge disagreed and said Lestenkof deserved to "be tried in the area where he was known and where he was part of the culture."

Get the Story:
Court rejects St. Paul man's appeal based on 'jury of peers' (The Anchorage Daily News 4/25)

Alaska Court of Appeals Decision:
Lestenkof v. Alaska (April 23, 2010)