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Crime & Courts

Woman held in tribal shooting known as bully, feeling pressure of eviction

Practically everyone in the little high desert town of Cedarville in northeastern California's Surprise Valley knew Cherie Lash Rhoades.

A leader of the Cedarville Rancheria, she worked in the tribe's gas station and convenience store and wore brightly colored tank tops that showed off her tattoos.

Sandra Parriott, a Cedarville business woman and lifelong resident of the town, says Rhoades "bullied her way through life." But Parriott says she would never have expected Rhoades to "start blowing people away at a meeting."

Police arrested Rhoades on suspicion that she did just that Thursday at a tribal meeting in Alturas, leaving four dead and two wounded. Police say they are looking into whether the pressures of facing an eviction over a federal investigation into tribal finances may have been a motive in the shootings.

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