Law | National

Guilty pleas for shootings of Indian men in Wyoming border town






James "Sonny" Goggles, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, remains in serious condition after being shot in the head in Riverton, Wyoming, on July 18, 2015. His family is raising funds to aid his recovery. Photo from Give Forward

A non-Indian man pleaded guilty in connection with the shootings of two members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming.

Roy Clyde, 32, pleaded guilty to murder for the death of Stallone Trosper, 29. He also pleaded guilty to attempted murder for the shooting of James “Sonny” Goggles, Jr., 50.

Trosper and Goggles were both shot in the head in July 18 as they slept in the Center of Hope, a detoxification center on West Adams Avenue in Riverton. Although both were tribal members, Clyde denied targeting them because of their race -- he instead claimed he wanted to hurt homeless people.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been monitoring the case as tribal leaders have called for hate crimes charges to be filed against Clyde. Federal charges are the only route because Wyoming lacks a hate crimes statute.


Stallone Winter Eagle Trosper, 1986-2015. Photo from family obituary / County 10

About 11,000 people live in Riverton, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of those, about 10.4 percent are American Indian or Alaska Native.

Many are members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe or the Eastern Shoshone Tribe. The two tribes are based on the Wind River Reservation and both contend Riverton remains a part of their land base.

Local and state officials, however, are suing in federal court in order to declare that the city is no longer Indian Country.

Get the Story:
Suspect pleads guilty in shootings of 2 Wyoming Indians (AP 10/2)
Roy Clyde pleads guilty to this summer’s Center of Hope #deadlyshooting (County 10 10/1)
Community meetings set in response to Riverton shootings (AP 10/1)

Related Stories:
FBI launches preliminary probe into shootings of Indian men (08/07)
Democrats call for hate crimes law after attack on Indian men (8/6)
Shooting highlights racial tensions on Wind River Reservation (7/30)
George Abeyta: Stallone Trosper taken from us in act of hate (7/24)
Officials back Northern Arapaho Tribe on hate crime charges (7/23)
Northern Arapaho Tribe calls shooting of men a hate crime (7/22)
Two men from Northern Arapaho Tribe shot while sleeping (7/21)