Up-Date on Tom Bedoniís legal status with the Hopi Tribal Court
From Byron Clemens
Monday, 12 August 2002

This if a brief report on Tom Bedoniís oral arguments on motion to dismiss held on July 31 in Keams Canyon. After the Hopi Ranger failed to show up for the Court date unlike 6 other BIA and Hopi Police Officers. Judge Garcia granted one and one half hours for the ranger to arrive. In her openting statement Hopi Prosecutor Muriel Scott stated that "we all know there are no speed limits on H.P.L." Then Hopi Ranger Derrick Begay testified in open court that his 50 traffic stops and 50 speeding tickets were all given in less than one year and all issued to drivers on theH.P.L. He testified that his citation of Bedonie for allegedly going "+45 mph in 35 mph posted area" was true and when questioned regarding that there were no posted speed limits any where on the HPL " I saw one when I started here.. . . someone must have taken them down." Defense Attorney Jeffrey Porturica argued that the charges should be dismissed "prima facie (on the face of it)" because the probable cause in the citaition did not exist. #1 there are no posted speed limits on the HPL contrary to the citation #2 45 mph is not a violation of Arizona traffic law that states where there is no posted speeds the speed limit is 65.

The Hopi Ranger testified that after chasing Bedoni 2 miles (up his driveway) he drew his weapon because he mistook Bedonieís truck keys for a weapon. . . . [there promises to be further details as to why the ranger pepper sprayed, handcuffed, manhandled Tom and handcuffed, sprayed and released two witnesses later at Tomís jury trial]. Hopi Judge Garcia ruled that the Hopi Officer was qualified to judge if Bedoniís actions were "careless and imprudent" even if the sworn citation was not "true." That the officerís safety was at risk even if HPL residents had "removed signs." ( Editorís Note: in the 20 years Iíve done support in the Big Mountain area there has never been a Hopi speed limit sign any closer than Highway 264 I also believe that by Ranger Begayís own testimony in court that he has been hired to harass HPL residents despite clearly written Arizona traffic laws)

Tomís Jury Trial has been scheduled for Wednesday August 28th, 2002, at 9 a.m. Tom thanks you for your financial support on his legal retainer fee of $750.00 The Center for Indian Law has requested an additional $500.00. If you can help, Tom has requested you send a check or money order to:

 Byron Clemens
100 Arundel
St. Louis, MO. 63105

 

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