Wyoming Man Pleads Guilty In Shootings of Native American Men in What Victims' Families Are Calling a Hate Crime
Roy Clyde will soon be sentenced to two life terms for shooting two men asleep in a detox center, killing one and wounding one
A Wyoming man who shot two Native American men, one fatally, in a crime that stoked racial tensions in a Wyoming town pleaded guilty last Thursday to charges that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life.
Roy Clyde, 32, pleaded guilty last Thursday to charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder under the terms of the deal. He will soon be sentenced to two consecutive life terms with no possibility for parole or gubernatorial intervention, prosecuting attorney Patrick LeBrun tells PEOPLE.
During a hearing last week, Clyde admitted in court to entering a detox center in Riverton, Wyoming, this summer and shooting two men as they slept. His crime fueled racial tensions, with the local Northern Arapaho Tribe calling for the murder to be charged as a hate crime. Riverton, Wyoming, where the crime took place, borders the Wind River Reservation.
LeBrun says Clyde, a former city parks employee, told detectives soon after his arrest that he targeted the two men – 29-year-old Stallone Trosper and 50-year-old James Goggles – because he believed they were homeless. He allegedly expressed resentment over having to clean up after the homeless that often loiter in the parks within the reservation town’s limits, LeBrun says.
In court last week, Clyde again testified that he singled the two men out because he thought they were transients.
But relatives of the two victims contend Clyde’s actions were fueled by racial hatred, and that Trosper – who died from his injuries – and Goggles – who was shot in the head and continues his recovery – were targeted for being Native Americans.
When asked about Clyde’s motives, LeBrun tells PEOPLE: “I can only tell you he said what he said, because I don t even want to try to get into that guy s mind. The victims’ families don’t believe that claim.”
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