Free the Carson 10!
Work for Justice, Pray for Healing!
The Carson 10 are ten Native American youth (6 pictured left)
from 8 different tribes accused of the murder of Samuel B. "Sammy"
Resendez, who died on August 23, 1998. At the time of the arrests, 6 out of
10 defendants were juveniles, three were under 21, and the oldest
was 24 years old. This is a complex case and this
website will provide you with information about some of the history
and facts surrounding it. We will also provide links to some of
the relevant media coverage. We also encourage you to get
involved with the Carson 10 Defense Committee
and give you information on how to do so.
Please get informed and work for the truth to be revealed so that
justice can prevail and healing can occur.
About the Case
Carson City, Nevada is a town of 53,923 (U.S. Census Bureau).
It is the capital of Nevada and the median family income in 1997 was
$40,712. The population break-down is 85% white and 15% people
of color. The city is named after "Kit" Carson, well-known settler
The Boice family live in Carson City and are members of the
Hopi/Paiute tribe. They are very proud of their family and heritage.
They are outspoken members of their community and work hard to
improve it. For years, the community has experienced harassment
from gang members, about which they informed the police. Terry,
the mother in the family, wrote to Sheriff Rod Banister in 1995
and pleaded with him for help. Unfortunately, she was provided
with neither assistance nor protection.
Click here to read the original 1995 letter.
What Happened on August 22, 1998
During the evening of August 22, 1998, Jessica Evans, a young
Native American woman was assaulted by an individual in Carson City
while attending a party at a local motel. Evans notified the Carson
City Sheriff's Deputies, but they refused to take action despite
visible injuries to her face as well as bloodstains on her sweatshirt.
This inaction by the police reflects a long history of
negligence in conflicts that not only affect the Native American
community but also the Latino Community. Unfortunately, when
conflicts between these two groups exist, it seems as though
police prefer to do nothing or to pit one group against the other.
After she was assaulted, police allege that Jessica returned
home where several of her family members and friends allegedly decided
to return to confront the attacker at the motel. Local police arrived
at the hotel room where Sammy was staying, early in the morning of August
23, 1998. According to the police reports, Samuel B. "Sammy" Resendez
was still alive when the police arrived. The reporting officer stated
that Sammy struggled against medical help. He later died from severe
head injuries. Evans, her family members, and her friends who police
allege returned to the motel are now being charged with the murder of
Resendez. The district attorney in Carson City has threatened the
defendants with a sentence of 2 consecutive life terms, and
minimum 40 year sentences.
How to Help
|Join the Carson 10 Defense Committee
||Read media coverage of the case
||Letter writing/Pressure Campaign
||Make a Donation
|click image to join the Carson 10 Defense Committee
||click image to read media on the case
||click image to learn where to send letters of protest
||click image to make donations to the Carson 10 Defense Committee
Facts Complicating the Case
Samuel B. "Sammy" Resendez dies from head injuries at 2:00PM
(12 hours after the alleged incident) on August 23, 1998, at a Reno Hospital.
Katherine Raven, the forensic pathologist who testified at the
preliminary hearing, stated that the cerebral contusions, or
bruising of the brain, were significant enough that Resendez would
not have been able to get up and walk into a bathroom 12 to 20 feet
away as was reported by the first officer on the scene. This would
suggest that Resendez was brutalized after the police arrived on the scene.
She also reported that he had a fractured Hyoid bone in his neck,
possibly caused by a compression of the neck. According to the police
report, Resendez was restrained.
Resendez was taken to the Carson-Tahoe hospital by ambulance where he was then transported by helicopter to the Washoe Medical Center. There was an 18-minute delay at the first hospital.
The attending emergency room physician is currently facing charges of kidnapping and drugging his ex-wife and is being questioned regarding murders in Arkansas.
There is no physical evidence to link any of the defendants to the crime.
Carolee Simpson, the State's key witness, told the first officer at the scene that she did not know any of the suspects. She also claimed she did not get a good look at their faces. A Washo Tribal Police officer supplied Simpson with the names of the suspects. Based on the names supplied to this witness, the police sought the defendants along with many other youth.
The Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's
Office have consistently said in newspapers that the defendants
are members of a gang, making tribal unities an indictable offense.
This is untrue, as is their portrayal of a Native American vs.
Latino racial conflict, rather it is a tactic used to produce
negative pretrial publicity.
Sheriff Rod Banister of the Carson City Sheriff's Department said speaking of the Latino and Native American communities on Channel 2 News, Carson City, N.V., during August 1998, "They feel like they're getting discriminated against, oh well, I don't care. Quite frankly, I don't have any use for either of these groups."
The Carson City Sheriff's Department has been having problems
for some time now. In fact due to a citizen's complaint on another
case, a Special Grand Jury Report was released that stated:
"Based on the testimony given by the Carson City
District Attorney and the Carson City Sheriff, both demonstrated
an alarming lack of knowledge of the statutes which form the basis
of the laws that are supposed to be enforcing. There should be some
process in place to ensure these officers are properly aware of and
have a basic understanding of the NRS." (Nevada Revised Appeal) Quote
taken from the Nevada Appeal article entitled "Corrected
Special Grand Jury Report", published August 9, 2002.
The article further stated, "Based on all the
testimony presented to the Grand Jury, the Carson City Sheriff's
Department, in particular the detective division, demonstrated a
marked lack of competence..." Yet this the same department we are
supposed to trust in regards to the investigation of the incident on
August 23, 1998. Click here to read the full report.
On many occasions the District Attorneys' Office has repeatedly failed to take action against members of the Eastside Toker gang when they have committed crimes against Native Americans, Latinos, and other citizens of Carson City. The individual who battered Evans was never charged.
Prior to this case, Boice Jr. and his family filed
complaints against members of the Sheriff's Department for
wrongdoing. The department ignored these complaints and continuously
harassed Boice Jr.
The trial of the 1st defendant begins August 26, 2002!
The trial for Rocky Boice Jr. (pictured
left) begins on August 26, 2002. The state has severed the other
defendents and Rocky will stand alone for the first trial, as a
result of Rocky's refusal to talk about deals and for maintaining
his absolute innocence. His mother and father support him, lead up
the Carson 10 Defense Committee, and refuse to be intimidated by the
Carson City Sheriff's Department or the District Attorney's office.
They are fighting the good fight and need your support!
"The families of the Native American youth who
are currently awaiting trial wish to extend their more heartfelt
sympathy to the family and friends of Samuel B. "Sammy" Resendez.
The incident was a tragic event and we cannot change what happened.
We want to ensure that nothing else happens to cause more pain for all
of our families...
"All of us are very emotional right now... As
family members, we have an obligation to our children to support
them and to help see them through the legal process. We pray for
the family and friends of Mr. Resendez and we pray for our children."
a statement by families of the Native Americans charged in the case in August 1998 when the incident occurred.
Please click on the daisy to read Prayers for Peace from many religions.
Click here to go to the Carson 10 Defense Committee page.
Many thanks for visiting our website!