Law | National

Non-Indian defendant gets life for shootings of tribal members

James "Sonny" Goggles, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, suffered critical injuries after being shot in the head in Riverton, Wyoming, on July 18, 2015. Photo from Give Forward

A judge in Wyoming handed down two life sentences to a non-Indian man who admitted he shot two members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

Roy Clyde, 32, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of Stallone Trosper, 29. He received a second life sentence for the attempted murder of James “Sonny” Goggles, Jr., 50, who survived the July 18, 2015, attack.

The case that drew attention to the state's lack of a hate crimes law. Even though Clyde was not charged with a bias-related offense, he admitted he wanted to hurt homeless people and went to a park in Riverton frequented by tribal members.

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

When he couldn't find victims there, Clyde went to a detoxification center where most of the clients are Native Americans. He shot Trosper and Goggles as they slept.

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:
Riverton man sentenced to life in prison for killing at detox center (The Casper Star-Tribune 1/8)
Riverton Center of Hope shooter Clyde will spend the rest of his life in prison (County10 1/8)
Man Gets Life for VOA Detox Center Sooting (AP 1/11)

Related Stories:
Guilty pleas for shootings of Indian men in Wyoming border town (10/02)
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)

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