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Native American found guilty of trespassing

Posted by ErthAvengr to NDN AIM

Cherokee woman guilty for praying


A Cherokee woman who went to a country club to pray on an Indian mound was found guilty by a jury of trespassing.

Barbara Crandell, 74, said she got tired after praying and rested on the country club golf course. She was ejected from the private facility. Crandell was fined $250 plus court costs but said she doesn't intend to pay. She said she would have rather gone to jail.

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Native American found guilty of trespassing (Gannett News Service 11/8)


Gannett News Service

NEWARK --A Cherokee woman found guilty Thursday of trespassing at Moundbuilders Country Club maintains she had historical and religious privilege to be there and should not have been convicted of the misdemeanor charge. After hearing testimony all day, the jury of two men and six women deliberated for about a half hour and found Barbara Crandell, 74, guilty of criminal trespassing. Judge Thomas Marcelain fined Crandell $250 plus court costs and ordered her to follow the rules restricting access at the country club. Prosecutor Harvey Shapiro requested Crandell be banned from the country club until she admitted wrongdoing. "I'm not going to pay a dime," Crandell said after the verdict in Licking County Municipal Court. She earlier had told Marcelain she would go to jail instead, but he did not respond. Crandell, 6634 Township Road No. 19, Thornville, testified she went to pray June 26, got tired and sat to rest on the mound near the No. 10 hole. She claimed she was then taunted by golfers. She later was arrested. Visitors are not permitted in the area of the golf course she visited that day. Crandell testified she did not understand signs posted around the course indicating restricted access to non-members. When asked if she was a member of the country club, she said, "No, I don't have $10,000. I don't play golf, sir. "I'm a descendant of the people who built it, and I went there to show my respect and pray." When asked for her reaction to the verdict, she said she was not surprised "considering the fact we could not use the documents and call witnesses we wanted." Riley Crandell, Barbara Crandell's son and attorney, planned to introduce into evidence a lease the country club has from the Ohio Historical Society that indicates the Octagon mounds are public grounds open from daylight to dark during the summer. Marcelain did not allow such evidence because "the language which refers to an agreement that the land is to be open to the public at all times ... is not set out in the deed so as to be enforceable. "The language that is set out to be enforceable is the language that requires that the property be maintained," the judge wrote in a decision. Marcelain also did not allow testimony by people Riley Crandell said could offer information about the mounds' historical and religious significance.

Originally published Friday, November 8, 2002

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