State’s high court upholds conviction of Santee Sioux man

Lincoln, Nebraska (AP) 10-07

The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected a Santee Sioux man’s argument that the state doesn’t have jurisdiction over his crimes.

The court upheld the conviction of 50-year-old Elroy Wabashaw for holding up a gas station in April 2005.

The Santee Sioux Tribe took over jurisdiction last year of minor crimes committed on the reservation by tribe members.

The court said Friday that the retrocession wasn’t official until after the crime was committed. It also affirmed a lower court’s decision that a 1868 treaty between the U.S. government and the Sioux Tribes didn’t divest the state of jurisdiction.

Wabashaw was sentenced to 22 to 26 years as a habitual criminal because of two prior felony convictions, one in South Dakota in 1977.