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Center of Hope gunman wants work records for sentencing

Nov 4, 2015 By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The Riverton man convicted of a fatal shooting this summer at the Center of Hope detoxification and rehabilitation facility wants to use records of his public service during his sentencing hearing.

Roy Allen Clyde was convicted of killing Stallone Trosper, 29, and critically wounding James "Sonny" Goggles, 50, on July 18 at the Center of Hope in Riverton.

Members of the victims' families and the Northern Arapaho Tribe have accused Clyde of having a racist motivation and targeting American Indians with his shootings. The tribe has called for a federal hate-crime investigation into the case.

Discrimination?

Clyde's lawyers Nick Beduhn and Devon Petersen indicated they want to use information from Clyde's public service records to show Clyde did not discriminate about who he served as a Riverton parks employee, volunteer firefighter or emergency medical technician.

"He's had numerous ambulance calls where he has assisted and treated all sorts of individuals in Fremont County," Beduhn said.

Beduhn indicated he might be trying to combat racial allegations by using the Fremont County Emergency Medical Services records, which may show the race of individuals Clyde assisted.

"There might be some other features within these reports, potentially a race notation or where the address was where they were picked up," Beduhn said.

He noted, however, that he has not seen the documents and thus does not know what information they contain.

Attorney Jeff Stanbury, representing Fremont County EMS, said state law provides Clyde has the right to most information in his personnel file, but documents about calls contain information about patients protected by laws.

The judge in the case ordered the lawyers to work out a way for both sides to see the employment records, potentially in a redacted form and behind closed doors, so that they all know what information is at stake and can reach an agreement about it.

Beduhn noted he already has received Clyde's personnel files from Riverton and the Fremont County Fire Protection District.

Sentence

Clyde's lawyers want to present the information from his personnel records during Clyde's sentencing hearing Jan. 7 to show mitigating factors, Beduhn said during a hearing Oct. 29.

The documents may have a limited impact, however, as Clyde's sentence is set in a plea agreement he signed with prosecutors.

Some deals prescribe a range of sentences, but Clyde's fixes his penalty at consecutive life sentences, the first being without the possibility of parole.

Judges typically must choose to go along with plea agreements that set a specific sentence, or reject the agreements entirely. But Beduhn noted records of Clyde's service could influence the judge's decision on the deal.

"To sway the court to also go along with the agreement would also beneficial," Beduhn said.

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