The Associated Press
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Officials with the Northern Arapaho Tribe say they’re gratified the federal government is monitoring the state prosecution of a man charged with the shootings last month of two tribal members.
Stallone Trosper, 29, died and James “Sonny” Goggles, 50, was critically injured in the July 18 shootings at the Center of Hope detox center in Riverton. Roy Clyde, 32 of Riverton, faces murder and attempted murder charges.
Northern Arapaho officials last week traveled to Washington, D.C., and urged officials at the U.S. Justice Department to press federal hate crimes charges against Clyde. The tribe also expressed concern about an unsolved 2013 incident involving a Northern Arapaho woman who survived being shot in the eye in the Riverton area.
Riverton Police Chief Mike Broadhead said his agency has turned over investigative files on the detox center shooting to the FBI and will continue to update the federal agency on progress of the case against Clyde. His agency had little information about the earlier shooting, Broadhead said.
John R. Powell, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cheyenne, said this week that federal officials are monitoring the state investigation and prosecution of Clyde.
“We are very grateful that the Department of Justice took our requests and concerns seriously,” said Dean Goggles, chairman of the Northern Arapaho Business Council. Dean Goggles and James Goggles are cousins.
Business Council member Ronnie Oldman said in a prepared statement that the council appreciates Broadhead’s positive reaction to its concerns.
According to a statement filed in court by Riverton police, Clyde, a city parks worker, told investigators he long had been considering killing people he referred to as “park rangers.” In Riverton, the term “park rangers” refers to homeless alcoholics — most of them American Indians. Many come to the city from the surrounding Wind River Indian Reservation, where alcohol is illegal, and drink in the parks.
Relatives of both victims of the detox center shootings have said neither man was homeless.
Clyde waived a preliminary hearing in Fremont County Circuit Court this week, sending the state’s case against him to district court. His arraignment there hasn’t been scheduled yet.
Fremont County Attorney Patrick J. LeBrun said this week he hadn’t decided whether to seek the death penalty against Clyde.
Devon Petersen, a lawyer with the Wyoming Public Defender’s Office who represents Clyde, declined comment on Thursday.
In an interview this week, Broadhead he regards his agency’s investigation into the detox center shootings as complete.
Broadhead said the shootings came even as the community has made great strides in recent years in addressing public drunkenness and homelessness. Volunteers of America took over the center about two years ago and began sending many people to other clinics for long-term treatment.
Before Volunteers of America took over, Broadhead said, the city took an average of over 2,000 people a year into custody for public intoxication. After the first full year of management of the detox center by Volunteers of America, he said that number had fallen to about 1,100.
“You can drive around and the problem used to be much more overt than it is now,” Broadhead said.