Suspect In Reservation Crimes Now A Fugitive

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Local law enforcement is looking for 19-year-old Garrett Quotskuyva in connection with several crimes on the Tonto Apache Reservation.

Quotskuyva, who is on probation, allegedly committed the crimes six weeks after being released from prison, where he'd spent the past year.

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Garrett Quotskuyva

In September, a crowd of Quotskuyva's family, friends and supporters gathered in Superior Court to ask the judge for leniency in his sentencing for his part in the 2002 beating of a teenager that put the victim in the hospital with serious head injuries.

The county attorney's office determined that Quotskuyva played a lesser role in the crime and offered him a plea of attempted burglary. Judge Peter Cahill would decide whether to sentence him to prison for 3.5 years or give him five years probation.

Several prominent members of the Tonto Apache Tribe, as well as the victim's parents, asked the judge to choose probation.

"We've known Garrett for years," the victim's mother said. "He's not a bad kid -- he just needs help."

"You are the great beneficiary of the human capacity to forgive," Judge Cahill told Quotskuyva.

Just over a month later, according to court documents, Quotskuyva's probation was revoked.

"Essentially, there is a warrant for him through Superior Court," Ben Albright, supervisor of Adult Probation, said. "I guess we are just waiting for him to be apprehended. The tribal police are aware of the warrant and so are the Payson police and the sheriff's office."

The petition stated that Quotskuyva had committed the offenses of burglary, theft, criminal trespass and minor consumption of alcohol on the Tonto Apache Reservation.

"We can't discuss anything on that case right now," Tonto Apache Tribal Police Chief Joe Tunno said. "I can't give out any information at this time."

The Payson Police are investigating another case involving Quotskuyva while he was on probation.

"We've done some work on attempting to locate him, but we haven't been successful at this point," Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said. "We have another case we're investigating, but we haven't brought any charges yet."

According to the police report, Quotskuyva allegedly threatened to conduct a drive-by shooting on a man who recently testified against him in tribal court.

Also stated in the report was that family members said Quotskuyva "has a sense of hopelessness and a possibility of fighting or running if police contact is made."

Navigating justice across jurisdictions

An issue raised during Quotskuyva's sentencing hearing was how supervised probation would work since he resides in a separate, sovereign nation.

"This raises a difficult question of how probation would be supervised while respecting jurisdiction," Cahill said.

Tunno and his staff of officers, as well as members of the tribal council who were in the courtroom, assured the probation staff that the tribe would fully cooperate and assist them in their supervision of Quotskuyva.

"After Garrett was put on probation, they allowed us in and we were able to supervise him. We got complete cooperation," Albright said. "They upheld their promise at that point."

However, when Quotskuyva was caught violating the conditions of his probation, things became more difficult, Albright said.

"Since the warrant has been issued, there's been some issues as far as how the arrest is going to be managed," Albright said. "It's really an issue between the county attorney and the tribal council as far as what's going to be done and how things are going to be managed."

Albright said the county attorney is setting up a meeting with the tribe to iron out some of the jurisdiction issues.

Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores confirmed a future meeting between the tribe, her office and probation.

"The meeting is to get us all to talk about Native Americans living on the reservation on probation with the county. Its somewhat difficult to have supervised probation unless we have the cooperation of the tribe. We are going to try and formalize an understanding of how we are going to work together," Flores said. "It's a problem that faces most jurisdictions around Arizona. (Indian reservations) are sovereign nations and we have to treat them as such."

Gartner described some of the issues of law enforcement on the reservation

"We are the primary law enforcement on the Tonto Apache reservation. We have authority by virtue of our contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to arrest tribal members for tribal code violations that occur on the reservation," Gartner said.

"The interesting legal question is whether we can actually go out there and serve a state court warrant on a tribal member on the reservation and take him off the reservation without some type of extradition procedures," Gartner said. "It's a question that's been debated repeatedly, and the U.S. Supreme Court has handed down many decisions -- some of them contradict each other. Under some circumstances, we may not be able to serve a state court warrant on a tribal member on the reservation."

The Tonto Apache police are not part of the Payson police.

"We are not responsible for their police department. We dispatch for them and allow them to train with us -- those kinds of things, but we don't supervise them," Gartner said. "If they need our assistance, we are there for them, and they assist us a lot when we are short-handed."

The tribe must have an agreement with the BIA to be allowed to do their own law enforcement.

The Payson police contracted with the BIA six years ago to take over law enforcement on the reservation.

"Right now, we are struggling to get paid by the BIA," Gartner said. "The last time I checked, they owed us close to $90,000."

Although the Payson Police Department is only required to give 30 days notice to the BIA to be released from the contract, Gartner said he wouldn't consider pulling out right now.

"It's a busy community now and I don't want to leave the people out there without proper services," Gartner said.

Right now, police continue to follow leads on Quotskuyva's whereabouts.

His brother, Waylon, 19, and Jamison Davis, 22, are scheduled to stand trial for attempted murder next month for their part in the same beating incident.

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