Pueblo man convicted of assaulting prison guard in tribal facility
A man from Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico was convicted of assaulting a federal officer at a tribal detention facility in Colorado.

Ronald Romero, 46, was serving time in a facility operated by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe when he attacked a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer. The jury found him guilty after deliberating for less than two hours.

At the time of the November 2008 incident, Romero was serving an eight-year sentence handed down by the Nambe Pueblo court. A federal magistrate ruled that the punishment violated the Indian Civil Rights Act, which limits tribal courts sentences to one year.

However, the magistrate's recommendation has yet to be adopted by a federal judge. Romero's attorney has argued that he shouldn't have been in the Ute Mountain Ute facility at all because the tribal sentence was illegal.

The new Tribal Law and Order Act authorizes tribal court sentences of up to three years. Tribes must comply with certain requirements if they wish to impose harsher punishments.

Get the Story:
Gallup resident had jury trial in Durango (The Durango Herald 9/3)
N.M. man convicted in Four Corners jail assault (The Denver Post 9/3)

Related Stories:
Pueblo man fights eight-year sentence issued by tribal court (6/11)