The fate of Ben Atene Jr. will rest with the jury Monday as the trial on charges that he either assaulted or helped murder two Navajo Tribal Police officers last year come to a close.
Both sides rested Friday, with closing arguments scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday before U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene. The case will then go to the panel of 12 women for a verdict.In August, after deliberating 46 hours, a jury found Thomas Cly and Vinton Bedoni guilty of murdering Officers Roy Lee Stanley and Andy Begay.
The policemen were shot when they tried to break up an illegal beer party. They were driven to remote Copper Canyon near Lake Powell that night. The men and their police trucks were doused with gasoline, the gas was lit and they burned to death.
Greene sentenced Cly and Bedoni to life terms, plus 10 years each for firearms violations.
However, jurors were unable to reach a decision in the charges against Ben Atene Jr. So he was retried starting on Oct. 11. Shortly before the trial, a federal grand jury redrafted the indictment against him, adding less serious assault charges as an alternative verdict.