Federal Trial to Start for Four Accused in Kickapoo Case

By  | 

WACO, Texas (AP) - Four defendants accused in a federal criminal case of taking advantage of the Kickapoo Tribe are headed to trial today.

The original "Kickapoo Seven" were charged in a 25-count federal indictment in early 2005.

Three of the defendants pleaded guilty to lesser counts or had their charges dismissed.

The remaining four are scheduled to be in federal court in Waco expected to last two weeks.

The group faces charges ranging from stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Kickapoo Tribe's casino to laundering money and violating the civil rights of tribal members.

The small tribe operates a limited casino in Eagle Pass.

Last fall, the four remaining defendants accepted government plea deals limiting the charges against them.

But in May they renounced their guilty pleas in federal court and the judge reset the case for trial.

Facing trial today are Isidro Garza Jr., a former tribal manager; Martha Garza, Isidro Garza's wife; Timoteo Garza, son of Isidro Garza and a former state representative; and Lee Martin, a former casino manager.