Indian Legal Clinic helps Gila River prosecutors win appeal

April Olson andDerrick Beetso Derrick Beetso, a third-year law student in the Indian Legal Clinic, recently assisted April Olson (Class of 2006) in an appeal before the Court of Appeals of the Gila River Indian Community.

Olson successfully prosecuted the defendant on the charges of theft and robbery. The defendant raised three issues on appeal: (1) whether the trial court improperly precluded witnesses; (2) whether the trial court improperly admitted opinion testimony; and (3) whether the trial judge improperly relied on facts not in evidence.

Through the Indian Legal Clinic’s partnership with the Gila River Indian Community Prosecutor’s Office, Beetso was asked to argue the merits of the case before a three-judge panel of the Gila River Court of Appeals.

The case was argued on Sept. 16, and the Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the trial court decision in favor of the Community On Dec. 28.