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Media Banished From Tlingit Teens Reporters Interfering With Rehabilitation Of Exiled Indians

Sun., March 5, 1995

News reporters will no longer be allowed to visit two Indian teenagers who were banished to Alaskan islands in an effort to rehabilitate them after they attacked a pizza delivery man.

In a report to Snohomish County Superior Court, the Tlingit tribal court that ordered the banishments said one television reporter and one newspaper reporter had been authorized to visit Adrian Guthrie and Simon Roberts in the interests of showing the world the banishments were proceeding.

Another television reporter made an unauthorized visit with a support team taking the boys crosscut saws, Diana Wynne James wrote in the report to Judge James Allendoerfer.

But the goal of rehabilitation will not be met if people interfere in the banishment, or if the boys begin thinking they are stars, Wynne James wrote.

The youths pleaded guilty in May to first-degree robbery in a baseballbat attack on Tim Whittlesey in Everett in 1993. The case became international news in July when Allendoerfer released them to the tribal court in their hometown of Klawock, Alaska.

The tribal court banished the youths - now both 18 - to separate, remote islands for 12 to 18 months.

Allendoerfer has retained jurisdiction and ordered the pair to return to his court in March 1996 for sentencing under Washington law.

The boys are generally in good health, although Guthrie had to be treated in Ketchikan, Alaska, in December for an impacted wisdom tooth. He also reported that he had fallen into wet tundra up to his thighs. He was several miles from his cabin and had to run hard to keep from succumbing to freezing cold, Wynne James wrote.

The exiled teens spend most of their time foraging for food and chopping wood, and both are acting more like normal teens, she wrote.

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