Couple Agrees to Pay for Digging up Anasazi Ruins

Couple Agrees to Pay for Digging up Anasazi Ruins

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A San Juan County physician and his wife who had been accused of raiding an Anasazi burial site have agreed to pay the state $10,000.

The payment by James and Jeanne Redd settles a $250,000 lawsuit brought by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

In 1996, a San Juan County sheriff's deputy found the Redds and several children digging near prehistoric ruins in Cottonwood Wash near Bluff. Charges were first filed the following year. The charges included desecration of a corpse, a felony.

Three times district judges dismissed charges, but they were reinstated by appeals courts.

Last November, Jeanne Redd, 44, pleaded no contest to a reduced misdemeanor count of attempted abuse or desecration of a body. She entered an Alford plea, meaning she admitted no guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors had evidence that could convict her. She was placed on unsupervised court probation for six months and the judge imposed no fine or jail time.

The charge against James Redd, 52, was dismissed. Assistant Utah Attorney General Joanne Slotnik said that was because Jeanne Redd "was the prime mover and the one most interested in these sorts of relics."

The state's suit alleged the Redds destroyed a prehistoric grave site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Jeanne Redd's plea agreement argued that if an ancient grave had been disturbed, it was on private land.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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