ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A man accused of fatally beating and strangling his wife and leaving her on the side of a road on the Red Lake Indian Reservation was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in federal prison.

Jeremiah Kingbird, 39, of Ponemah, pleaded guilty in October 2019 to second-degree murder for the January 2019 killing.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and court documents, Kingbird and his wife were driving to their home after a night of drinking on Jan. 6, when they began to argue and got into a physical fight. Kingbird beat his wife in the head and strangled her before leaving her on a road in Redby.

The victim was found hours later lying face down in the snow; she had severe injuries to her head and neck and was having difficulty breathing. The victim was transported to the Red Lake IHS Hospital where she later died.

During a search of Kingbird’s vehicle, law enforcement observed blood on the front passenger window of the vehicle. Kingbird admitted to violently assaulting the victim and leaving her outside in the cold.

“In this particular case, Mr. Kingbird subjected his wife to extreme physical violence before leaving her on the side of a road, exposed to below freezing temperatures,” said U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald. “The disproportionally high rates of violence that plague Native American women is unacceptable. Today’s sentence represents justice for the victim and our commitment to putting an end to the staggering MMIP issue.”

After serving his 16 year sentence, Kingbird will have five years of supervised release.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments