Shonto Pete trial starts - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Shonto Pete trial starts

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SPOKANE, Wash.- The trial of Shonto Pete, a 27-year-old Navajo, will begin Monday, October 9, 2007.

Shonto Pete is being tried for taking a motor vehicle without permission.

On February 26th, Pete tried to steal an off-duty officer's pick-up truck from outside a downtown bar. The officer, James Olson, then reportedly opened fire, hitting Shonto Pete in the head.

Defense attorney's are expected to argue that after DNA samples were taken from both the steering wheel and the dashboard, Pete's was excluded as a possible contributor. They say that because Pete's fingerprints were found only on the outside of the car, he was not trying to steal it.

They will also say that the officer opened fire on Shonto while his back was turned. Pete was hospitalized for two days after one of the bullets was removed from his head.

Olsen has since been placed on unpaid layoff status from the Spokane Police Department for his actions on the night of February 26th and has been charged with 1st Degree Assault and two counts of reckless endangerment.

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