Tahlequah Daily Press

February 27, 2013

Prosecutors seek DNA in Begay case

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Prosecutors are seeking DNA samples as they prepare to argue a child sex abuse case before a second jury.

A subpoena was issued this week for Stacey Begay; his adopted daughter, Christina Begay; and her child. Stacey Begay, who was convicted of child sex abuse during a jury trial last year, was subsequently sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors alleged Stacey Begay had sex with Christina several times over a period of months, which culminated in an assault and shooting in April 2011.

But earlier this month, District Judge Darrell Shepherd granted Stacey a new trial when Christina – who is now 18 – testified that police and prosecutors forced her and her father to say they had sex together, and denied her the chance to testify on his behalf.

During a hearing on Stacey Begay’s request for a new trial, Shepherd said Christina Begay and her adoptive mother, Terry Begay, had made “outlandish” statements throughout the court process, and that they may have colluded to pull some “shenanigans” with the case.

Shepherd decided to grant Stacey Begay’s motion out of concern that he receive a fair trial.

Assistant District Attorney B.J. Baker, who prosecuted the case against Stacey Begay, said this week’s subpoena will allow officers to collect swabs of DNA from Christina Begay, Stacey Begay, and Christina’s child.

When Christina and her adoptive mother, Terry Begay, spoke to the Daily Press in December about the case, Terry indicated Christina’s baby was 11 months old.

Baker said the DNA swabs are being collected to see whether Stacey Begay is the baby’s father.

Court documents show police were called to the Begay residence in April 2011 when Terry Begay returned home and found her husband hiding in Christina Begay’s room.

Prosecutors argued that Stacey and Christina were involved in a sexual relationship, and when Terry arrived home and made the discovery, she retrieved a gun and fired shots at her husband and daughter.

Christina and Stacey Begay both wrote statements for a sheriff’s investigator detailing their supposed sexual relationship, but Christina told the Daily Press last December that her mother never shot a gun in April 2011.

Christina also said she and Stacey Begay both repeatedly told investigators nothing happened between them.

She says police told both of them what to write, though she now claims she had actually been having sex with her boyfriend when her father – and later, her mother – arrived at home, leading to confusion over the situation.

Terry Begay is facing perjury charges over her testimony from Stacey Begay’s first trial last year, and is set for a preliminary hearing next month.

Stacey Begay’s attorney, A.J. Garcia, has asked the court to allow him to withdraw as the defense attorney in Stacey’s case.

After calling for a new jury trial, Shepherd ordered Stacey Begay’s bond at $100,000.

Garcia has asked for a bond reduction since that hearing.

Stacey Begay’s new trial is scheduled for May 20 at 9 a.m. in Cherokee County District Court.