Court withdraws ruling in Indian status case - WNEM TV 5

Court withdraws ruling in Indian status case

Posted: Updated:
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (AP) -

A federal appeals court has withdrawn a ruling that significantly reduced an Arizona man's sentence.

Damien Zepeda had been serving a 90-year sentence on assault and firearms charges when the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that prosecutors didn't prove he was a member of a federally recognized tribe. That's the first step to charging him with felony offenses that occur on reservation land.

The court had overturned all but one charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years and ordered that Zepeda be resentenced.

The court on Tuesday withdrew that opinion without explanation and said another one will be filed in due course.

The order makes the federal government's motion for a rehearing moot.

Zepeda's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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