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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Colville Indian Reservation

Woman gets 10 years for shooting

A woman who shot a man three times after he accidentally hit her with a half-pint bottle has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Leona Sutton, 34, is a methamphetamine addict who federal prosecutors say is very dangerous.

“Defendant's livelihood has been a criminal one. Daily use of methamphetamine and distributing it to feed the habit,” according to a sentencing memorandum prepared by the U.S. Attorney's Office. “The public is not safe when she consumes alcohol or methamphetamine. It also is not safe when she has access to a firearm.”

Sutton shot the man, with whom she frequently used meth, on Oct. 2 with a .22 caliber rifle in Keller, Wash., on the Colville Indian Reservation.

Family told the FBI she had a history of violence and frequently tried to coerce her ex-boyfriend into assaulting people” and “routinely told him that she wanted “to kick someone's ass,” prosecutors wrote.

U.S. District Judge Frem Nielsen on Thursday sentenced Sutton to 120 months and 1 day in prison for discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and assault with a dangerous weapon, followed by three years of probation. She also is to pay $5,796.24 restitution. Nielsen recommended she undergo treatment for drug addiction while in prison.

Mike Ormsby, U.S. Attorney in Eastern Washington, praised the sentence in a prepared statement.

“Crimes of violence will not be tolerated in the Eastern District of Washington, particularly those crimes occurring on Tribal lands,” Ormsby said. “The Sutton case is yet another example of the United States Attorney's Office’s commitment to prosecute vigorously violent crimes.”

Man gets 11 years in prison for 2 rapes

A man who raped two women on the Colville Indian Reservation in 2007 has been sentenced to about 11 years in prison.

Clarence J. Stensgar, Jr., 60, will be under federal supervision for life after he serves 135 months in federal prison under a sentence imposed today in U.S. District Court in Spokane. Stensgar raped a woman in April 2007 and another woman in November 2007.

He was indicted by a grand jury in September 2010 and pleaded guilty in July. He's in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to federal prison.

In a prepared statement, Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said, “I am committed to aggressively prosecuting violent crime on Tribal lands. It is especially important to remove and incarcerate repeat sexual offenders, because women on Tribal land suffer a greater percentage of assaults than the general population.”

Man hits cop in groin with case of beer

A 32-year-old Nespelem man who threw a case of beer at a tribal police officer, striking him in the groin, was sentenced this week to about four years in prison.

James Edward Kensler was given 50 months in federal prison for assaulting a federal officer. He'll serve the term the same time as a 50-month sentence for assaulting his former girlfriend.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Colville Tribal Police received a report on Nov. 16 that Kensler had choked his girlfriend unconscious after acting like he was going to kiss her.

Then on Feb. 11, tribal officer W.E. Evans was driving south on state Route 155 when Kensler, carrying a case of beer, flagged him down and asked for a ride.

Evans told him he would have to “relinquish” the beer, but Kensler declined, according to a news release. He gave them a false name, and dispatched advised that that name actually had an active warrant. Evans went to arrest Kensler and was assaulted with the case of beer, authorities say.

Kensler fled but was later apprehended by Colville Tribal Police and officers from the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office. He pleaded guilty to the assaults in July and was sentenced Monday.

Man gets 20 years for wife’s murder

A Colville tribal member was sentenced to 20 years in prison Wednesday for an assault that left one dead and another permanently disabled.

Kevin Isaac Pakootas, 25, of Inchelium, Wash., pleaded guilty in November 2010 to second-degree murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. In addition to prison, he'll be on five years supervised probation upon release, and pay $152,678 restitution, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Rice.

Authorities say Pakootas was drinking at a tavern before attending a house party on Moccasin Run near his home on Sept. 5, 2009. When he returned home about 4:30 a.m., he apparently found his wife, Colette Pakootas, 23, having “intimate relations” with Mark Edgette, 39, and beat the two until they were unconscious, Rice said in a news release.

The two were airlifted to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where they were listed in critical condition.

Colette Pakootas died Sept. 11, 2009 from blunt-force trauma to her head. Edgette suffered traumatic brain injury and other injuries that left him permanently disabled.

Past coverage:

Sept. 24, 2009: Suspect pleads not guilty in wife's slaying

Tribe member guilty of manslaughter

A federal jury in Spokane convicted a 22-year-old Colville tribal member of involuntary manslaughter Friday.

Rudy M. Garcia was acquitted of first-degree murder and other lesser included offenses following a two-week trial in U.S. District Court, said Tom Rice, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Garcia faces a maximum of eight years in prison. His sentencing is set for Oct. 27.

Garcia turned himself into tribal police in December 2010, about a month after tribal member David E. McCraigie, 22, was shot to death at 810 Sixth St. in Omak.

The men argued at a party before Garcia retrieved the rifle from his Jeep about 2 a.m. Nov. 5, 2009, according to court documents. Garcia claimed self defense.

Tribal member pleads guilty to 2 rapes

A member of the Colville Confederated Tribes pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to two counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

Clarence J. Stensgar, Jr., was charged last September with sexually assaulting two different women in 2007 on the Colville Indian Reservation.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of up to life in federal prison, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Ohms recommended a sentence of just more than 11 years in federal prison.

As part of the plea negotiation, a third count of aggravated sexual abuse and a single count of kidnapping were dismissed, according to court records.

U.S. District Judge Frem Nielsen set Stensgar's sentencing for 9 a.m. on Oct. 12.

Man gets 27 years for ‘06 murder

A Nespelem, Wash., man has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for the knife-murder of a woman on the Colville Indian Reservation in 2006.

Ryan Martin Seideman, 24, was sentenced to 327 months for second-degree murder on Thursday. He'll be on probation for five years after his release.

The body of Lillian Jolene Lee, 42, was found in her home on March 20, 2006. Seideman was arrested in January 2009 after his DNA was identified in a blood stain on Lee's underwear, who was stabbed at least 30 times, according to court documents.

Lee had allowed Seideman into her home and treated him like a son, prosecutors said in court documents.

“It remains difficult to imagine the amount of pain, fear and torture that Ms. Lee experienced up to her last breath and yet the Defendant showed her no mercy, no compassion and no humanity,” according to a sentencing memorandum. “He simply left her there to bleed to death for the community to find her fully exposed, debased and degraded.”

A jury convicted Seideman in December. He remains in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to federal prison.

 “I hope the victim’s family finds some solace in the resolution of this case,” said Michael Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in a statement.

Drunk man can’t recall shooting sis’ car

A 19-year-old Nespelem man was so drunk he didn't realize he'd targeted his sister when he fired shots at people and cars on the Colville Indian Reservation in September 2009, according to court documents.

Robert L. Picard III is to serve 84 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to three counts of assault . A co defendant, John Edward McGinnis, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of assault last November and is to be sentenced in April.

According to court documents prepared for Picard's defense, McGinnis had recently been released from prison when Picard and others picked him up after a night of heavy drinking on Sept. 20, 2009. The men drove around Nesplelem looking shooting at cars after McGinnis said he was looking for someone, according to court documents.

“Mr. Picard was extremely intoxicated to the extent that he is unable to recall much, if anything, from that night. Ultimately, he had no idea who was in the vehicles that he shot at,” according to a sentencing memorandum prepared by his public defender, Jaime Hawk. “He was particularly saddened to later learn that his own sister was an occupant of one of the vehicles.”

Picard was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Spokane. He's at the Spokane County Jail waiting transport to federal prison.

Courthouse watch: 9.24.09

A man who investigators say killed his wife and severely beat the man she was having sex with when he walked in on them earlier this month pleaded innocent today to murder and other charges in U.S. District Court.

Kevin I. Pakootas, 23, is accused of fatally beating Colette Peone Pakootas, 23, and injuring Mark Edgett after leaving a party and discovering the pair together about 4:30 a.m. Sept. 5 at his home in rural Inchelium, Wash., which is on the Colville Indian Reservation south of Kettle Falls.

Read the rest of my story here.

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