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Ousted tribal leader, accused murderer in court; victims pledge vigilance

Published On: Apr 23 2014 08:21:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2014 08:48:50 PM CDT
ALTURAS, Calif. -

The former tribal leader accused of gunning down four people in February’s mass shooting in Alturas was back in court Wednesday.

Cherie Lash was led into a Modoc County courtroom in shackles. She was transported there from a Lassen County jail cell, where she’s currently being held.

Lash gave a nod and acknowledged someone sitting in the courtroom as she was led to the defense’s table.

The purple dye in her hair has faded significantly since she was booked on four counts of murder and two counts of premeditated murder, more than two months ago.

Lash was ousted as Cedarville Ranchera tribal chairwoman prior to allegedly shooting to death her brother, Rurik Davis, niece Angel Penn, nephew Glenn Calonico and Sheila Russo.

Shelia’s husband was in court Wednesday. Outside he made a short statement, promising to be in the courtroom every day Lash is required to be there. He wants Lash to see his face and know that his wife, Sheila, is still there in spirit. He also stated that’s something Lash can never take away from him.

One of the surviving victims, Melissa Davis, was also in court - to face Lash. Davis, who was in a wheelchair, was shot and then stabbed with a butcher knife during the February attack. Today she was surrounded and comforted by loved ones and supporters.

Wednesday’s court proceedings consisted mainly of housekeeping issues between Modoc County District Attorney Jordan Funk and Lash's defense attorney, Antonio Alvarez.

Lash's next court appearance for the preliminary trial hearing was set for July 9.