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Remembering September 11
9/14/2007 By: Carole McWilliams
U.S. Air Force veteran Larry Tucker, left, Veterans Service Officer Rod Grove, Past Tribal Chairman and Vietnam combat veteran Howard Richards, and Ronnie Baker, Southern Ute Veterans Commander, gathered in the Southern Ute Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday, Sept. 11 to speak to a small crowd of Southern Ute Indian Academy students, tribal council members, and others who came together as a community to pay their respects while remembering the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. Richards, the former leader of the Southern Ute Tribe, hoped that more people would have come out to share in prayer, and summarized just how much it means to him not to live in fear, but to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Grove concluded that we should all be very thankful for our soldiers.
Four charged with 1st degree murder in Ignacio
Three Ignacio area women and a man face potential death penalties or life in prison in the Aug. 22-23 killing of 31-year-old Clifton Joseph Greany.
All four are Native Americans. Information was not available on whether all are Southern Utes. Greany was a member of the Cheyenne Tribes of Oklahoma who had been living in Ignacio. A second victim who was badly injured also is Native American.
Charges from a federal grand jury indictment were filed Sept. 6 in Federal District Court in Denver against Johnita Taylor, April Watts, Isaac Headman, and Monica Williams.
Charges of first degree murder, felony murder for killing during a kidnapping, and kidnapping were filed against all four defendants. Each of those charges carry penalties of up to life in prison or death.
In addition, April Watts and Monica Williams were charged with severely beating and disfiguring Tammy Porambo.
The first charge of assault with a deadly weapon alleges that they beat Porambo with their shoes. The second assault charge alleges that they caused “a substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement of her face, and protracted loss and impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.”
Each assault charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and/ or $250,000 fine.
The four were initially arrested by Southern Ute Police and held in the Southern Ute Detention Center on tribal charges until the federal charges were filed.
U.S. Attorney spokesman Jeff Dorschner in Denver said no case information would be released aside from what was in the charging documents. Asked how it is decided whether to pursue the death penalty, he said, “There is a review process that takes place in Washington to determine whether the Department of Justice should seek the death penalty.”
He didn’t know when such a decision might happen.
As for whether the four will be tried in Denver or Durango, he said, “A trial location would be determined later and would be based on factors including defense motions and preference of the judge.”
The four made an initial appearance on Sept. 7 in Magistrate Court in Durango. They were informed of their rights, and the indictment was read. Detention hearings were held Tuesday and Wednesday. All were ordered to be held until trial.