Tahlequah Daily Press

May 17, 2013

Second Begay jury trial to begin

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Despite new DNA evidence introduced in the case, a district judge has decided to go ahead with a man’s second planned jury trial on child sex abuse charges.

If District Judge Darrell Shepherd’s decision stands, 48-year-old Stacey G. Begay will face his second trial May 28 at 9 a.m. Stacey was found guilty of child sex abuse last September and sentenced to a 30-year prison term.

But the alleged victim in the case, Christina Begay – Stacey’s adopted daughter – later told the court she had been threatened by prosecutors and kept away from her dad’s court appearances, unable to testify on his behalf.

She claimed she and her father were forced by investigators to lie in April 2011 and say they had been having sex together for several months.

Christina Begay claimed her adoptive father never touched her inappropriately, despite the verbal and written statements made when Stacey Begay was arrested in 2011.

After Christina Begay gave her version of the events, Shepherd acknowledged he was skeptical, but said Stacey Begay deserved his right to a fair trial. Shepherd then called for a second trial on the case.

Prosecutors, in the meantime, decided to seek DNA samples from Stacey Begay, Christina Begay, and Christina’s baby, who was born in December 2011. Test results returned a 99.9-percent probability Stacey Begay had fathered Christina’s child.

Once results of the test were returned, Assistant District Attorney Doug Dry asked Shepherd to consider nixing the new trial based on the findings, and accused Christina Begay of trying to perpetrate fraud.

Court records show Shepherd overruled Dry’s motion and set Stacey Begay for a new trial May 28.

Dry has now filed a notice of intent to use DNA evidence in the second trial.