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Clyde sentenced: Two life terms for shelter shootings

Jan 8, 2016 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

Roy Allen Clyde will live out his days behind bars after being sentenced Thursday to life without parole.

On July 18, Clyde, 32, shot dead Stallone Trosper, 29, and injured James "Sonny" Goggles, 50. Both victims are American Indian, and the shooting -- which garnered national attention -- was followed by calls for hate-crime prosecution. A federal investigation into that claim is continuing.

Before the sentencing Thursday, Fremont County Attorney Pat LeBrun said it was right that Clyde "should spend every second for the remainder of his life behind bars."

Clyde entered the Center of Hope alcohol rehabilitation and detoxification facility July 18 in Riverton, shooting both men while they slept. He then disposed of his gun and called police. When police arrived, Clyde was careful to make it known that he was no longer a threat.

LeBrun said the attempt by Clyde to save himself was particularly egregious.

"A man who cares that much about his own life and so little about two others deserves to spend life in prison," LeBrun said.

Clyde ultimately took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. He will never be paroled, as Wyoming's constitution prevents a pardon by any authority.

The families were not awarded restitution.

Nick Beduhn, Clyde's attorney, said that although the shooting did not define Clyde's character, the sentence given was appropriate.

'Irrational'

Beduhn lamented the dark cloud his client brought to Fremont County.

"You can't rationalize the irrational," he said. "We can only start the process of healing."

Though Clyde previously has seemed defiant about the shootings, he showed remorse Thursday.

"I am very sorry," he said. "If I could go back and undo my actions, I would. If I could switch positions with either of the gentlemen, I would, if it would bring them back. But I can't."

Before the judge entered the courtroom Thursday, dozens of people had gathered in the gallery. Because of the outrage that followed the shooting, three deputies from the Fremont County Sheriff's Office stood sentinel around the defendant's table, forming a human barrier between Clyde and the public.

Family statements

The sentencing was preceded by emotional statements by immediate family members of the victims. They commemorated Goggles and Trosper while condemning Clyde.

"I spent $2,000 on my brother's funeral," Trosper's sister Agnes Logan said. "I spent everything I had, which left my mother, my son and I without a home. So I guess you can consider me homeless, but I am not worthless."

Clyde said he was targeting homeless people July 18 and was not motivated by race.

"It has been a long haul for this family," Rose Goggles, sister of Sonny Googles, said through tears.

Sonny Goggles was shot in the head during the July 18 incident but survived. After being flown to Casper by air ambulance, he eventually regained consciousness.

A nurse asked him if he knew what year it was.

"1937?" he guessed.

"He will always be in assisted living," Rose Goggles said. "He will always be in a wheelchair. He will probably never remember what happened to him."

'Not a mean bone in him'

Rose Goggles described the eight-year Navy veteran as a "gentle giant."

"He does not have a mean bone in him," she said, noting his nickname of "mayor" due to his propensity to wave to people on the street.

Mary Warren, also Sonny Goggles' sister, said when she was told he would survive, "it was the most wonderful moment I spent with my brother in 49 years."

Logan said that Trosper "was in the process of making his life right."

Angie Vargas, another sister of Sonny Goggles, said she was not capable of forgiving Clyde but is glad he will not be executed, citing scripture from The Bible.

"Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,'" Romans 12 reads.

"I believe the only person who can take a life is God," Rose Goggles said.

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Roy Clyde was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.

Roy Clyde was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.


Roy Clyde was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.

Roy Clyde was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.

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