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Judge Agrees To Hand Indian Youths Over For Tribal Punishment

August 13, 1994

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) _ A judge agreed Friday to hand two young robbers over to a tribal court for possible banishment to remote Alaskan islands.

But Snohomish County Superior Court Judge James Allendoerfer said if the youths violate the terms of his order in any way they would be back in his courtroom looking at prison sentences.

In the meantime, Allendoerfer said he was prepared to release Simon Roberts and Adrian Guthrie when he receives a $25,000 property bond. After the 18- month period, the two would have to return to Allendoerfer’s court.

Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Michael Magee immediately appealed.

Allendoerfer agreed July 13 to hold off sentencing for 18 months to allow tribal authorities to try the youths, but the prosecution asked the judge to reconsider.

The two 17-year-old Tlingit Indians from a small Alaskan town pleaded guilty in May to first-degree robbery of Timothy Whittlesey, a pizza-delivery driver who suffered permanent hearing and vision impairment in the baseball- bat attack last summer.

Under state sentencing guidelines, Guthrie faces 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years in prison. Roberts, who admitted wielding the bat, faces 5 1/2 years. They already have been held at the Snohomish County Jail for nearly a year, which will apply toward their sentences.

Tom Cox and Bill Jaquette, the boys’ attorneys, and Rudy James, who describes himself as a traditional tribal judge for the Kuye’di Kuiu Kwaan Tribal Court in Alaska, presented the judge with the proposal to have the youths tried before a traditional tribal court.

The $25,000 property bond should be ready by Tuesday, James said, and Roberts’ mother, Pamela Weiss, has volunteered to put up Alaskan property worth $35,000 for restitution.

Banishment to separate remote islands for up to 18 months, along with restitution to the victim, were suggested as likely tribal court punishments.

If the tribal court banishes the youths to remote islands it won’t put them through ″a test of survival,″ James said.

″Initially, we’ll send very well-schooled elders to them who know how to gather food and fuel,″ he said. ″We’ll also leave a lot of tools and equipment.″

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