Slain Nevada teen’s mother seeks $4 million from BIA

Fallon, Nevada (AP)
The mother of a teenager shot to death by a tribal officer in northern Nevada three years ago has filed a complaint against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs seeking $4 million in damages.

Norman “Manny” Boney Jr., 17, was killed by Officer Walter Valline at the Boney’s home in Schurz on the Walker River Paiute Reservation on July 15, 2004.

Valline shot him twice in the yard of the home. He was hit once in the neck and once in the right side after his father, Norman Boney Sr., was shot with a Taser stun gun.

In December 2005, the Justice Department cleared the officer of any wrongdoing in the shooting death. A complaint filed against Valline individually in 2005 is currently in litigation.

Gayleen Boney, the wife of Norman Boney Sr. and mother of Norman Jr., filed the new complaint against the BIA during late August in U.S. District Court in Reno, said Mitchell Wright, her attorney.

She is seeking relief for seven claims including wrongful death, extreme emotional distress, recklessness and intentional acts of Valline, and negligent hiring, training and retention.

A trained emergency medical technician, Mrs. Boney said in the new complaint she attempted to render aid to her son but was ordered to stop.

As she “was attempting to help her son, Defendant Walter Valline pointed his gun at her and told her to ‘get away from’ him,” the complaint states. “Gayleen Boney was handcuffed and placed in a Tribal Police car at the direction of Walter Valline.”

Emergency personnel, including Boney’s brother, Tyrone, performed CPR on Manny for 13 minutes before a doctor at Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon told them to discontinue and pronounce the victim deceased.

The FBI said tribal officers initially responded to a call from Mrs. Boney, who requested help finding her husband. The agency said she had described her husband as intoxicated and “acting crazy.”

One officer saw Boney’s truck at the home around 8 p.m. Boney Sr. and his son immediately confronted the officer and allegedly threatened him with physical harm. During the dispute, Manny threatened to release his pit bull, the FBI said.

When Valline used his Taser on the combative father, Manny charged and was shot, the FBI said.

Mrs. Boney disputes the FBI’s explanation of how the shooting occurred. She said the dog, Tank, was friendly except around other dogs. Tank was found dead in the family’s yard two weeks following the shooting.

The FBI investigated the case because Indian reservations are considered separate nations by the federal government.

FBI Special Agent Todd Palmer said the FBI only has jurisdiction over some incidents on tribal land, such as the shooting investigation. The FBI turned the case over to the U.S. Attorney’s office for review in August 2004, which forwarded the case to the U.S. Department of Justice.

BIA officials in Carson City and the regional office in Phoenix said they were not aware of the complaint and declined to comment.