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Redby couple indicted for murder

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News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Redby couple indicted for murder
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against a 27-year-old Redby man and a 22-year-old Redby woman for allegedly murdering a 21-year-old man on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.


In an indictment filed with the U.S. District Court Tuesday, Kelly James Maxwell and Natalie Renee Delores Ann Smith were charged with one count of second-degree murder.

The indictment alleges Maxwell and Smith killed Curtis Leslie Charles Heinonen on Oct. 1. According to an FBI affidavit, Heinonen's naked body was found under some logs in the yard of a Redby residence. Officers discovered shoes, pants and boxer-shorts two blocks away in Smith's yard.

If convicted, Maxwell and Smith face a potential maximum penalty of life in prison. All sentences are determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Red Lake Tribal Police and the FBI.

The couple remains in custody.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.

While nine of Minnesota's 11 Indian reservations are subject to State criminal jurisdiction, the Red Lake and Nett Lake reservations turn to the U.S. Attorney's Office for prosecution of their felonies.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

Heinonen's traditional American Indian funeral was held Oct. 8 at the Red Lake Community Center. He was born and raised in Red Lake and is survived by two daughters, parents, sisters and brothers.

Pioneer staff reports