Posted: Sep 19, 2013 5:24 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2013 5:28 PM
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A federal appeals court is sticking with a ruling that significantly reduced an Arizona man's sentence on assault and firearms charges.
But the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals made an important revision in its opinion of the case that questioned Damien Zepeda's status as America Indian.
The panel initially said it's up to a jury to determine whether a tribe is recognized by the federal government. The panel said Thursday that it's up to a judge.
Nonetheless, the appellate court says prosecutors didn't prove Zepeda is a member of a federally recognized tribe. That's the first step to charging him with felony offenses on reservation land.
The court ordered Zepeda resentenced on a conspiracy charge that carries a maximum punishment of five years. He had been serving 90 years.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Click here to submit a news tip to us!
Become a Facebook Fan!
Help those in need this holiday season
Win! Win! Win!
Wise Local Marketing!
Get news, weather and more on your smartphone and tablet!
Get texts for news, traffic, deals and more!
Sign up on KVOA.com for newsletters, exclusive deals, and more!
What's happening on News 4 @ 4
Stories and videos with Kristi's Kids
Check out the latest events FC Tucson has scheduled.
Let us help grow your business
Digital Channel 4.2
What's on KVOA and when!
Contact info for our department heads
KVOA's on air personalities!
Work at News 4 Tucson
Complete feeds of all KVOA.com stories
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and More