Court upholds Navajo man's murder conviction

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday refused to overturn the murder conviction of a Navajo man who admitted killing his two young children in a drunken rage.

Anderson Black challenged his conviction because a Navajo interpreter was not provided for a key witness, his sister. Black had been with his sister the night of the killings.

He also objected because a juror who fainted during the trial was not removed. The juror fainted after viewing an autopsy photo.

A three-judge panel rejected both of Black's challenges. The court said Black's sister didn't need an interpreter because she is fluent in English. The failure to remove the juror did not sway the verdict, the court added.

Black was given a life sentence for murdering Dakota Ironhawk Black, 3, and Nicole Gentlehawk Black, who was about to turn 2, in September 2000. His blood-alcohol level after the incident was 0.184.

Get the Decision:
U.S. v Black (June 1, 2004)

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