State challenges Ute Tribe's jurisdiction over police officers

Todd Rory Murray. Family photo

A family from the Ute Tribe of Utah has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against 11 current and former police officers but the state doesn't want the case to be heard.

Todd Rory Murray died in April 2007 during an encounter within the boundaries of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. A medical officer ruled that the 21-year-old shot himself but the family believes he was murdered.

Murray's family filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court in 2009. The officers were not at fault, a judge ruled in March 2014.

The family is now seeking justice in tribal court. But the Utah Attorney General's Office wants the suit dismissed, claiming that the tribe lacks authority to hear the case.

The state also claims the lawsuit is virtually the same as the one that was heard in federal court.

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Judge asked to intervene in wrongful death suit against 11 officers (The Deseret News 5/7)

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