The federal grand jury has redrafted the indictment against a Navajo man accused of killing two tribal officers, adding less serious assault charges.
Ben Atene Jr. will be tried next month in the Dec. 4 slayings. Co-defendants Thomas Cly and Vinton Bedoni were convicted of murder two months ago, but, despite 461/2 hours of deliberation, the jury failed to reach a verdict on Atene, and U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene declared a mistrial.Atene remains charged with two counts of first-degree murder, but the grand jury added two charges of "assault with intent to commit murder" in the shooting of Roy Lee Stanley and Andy Begay.
U.S. Attorney Brent Ward refused to say Thursday whether the additional charges were in response to the first jury's deadlock.
Ward said his prosecutors asked for the supplemented indictment "just to give a jury more flexibility in the case."
The bodies of Begay and Stanley were discovered Dec. 5 in the burned-out shell of one of their police trucks. Witnesses said the officers came one at a time upon a beer-drinking gathering after a high school basketball game and were overcome, shot and loaded into the truck.