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Federal jury convicts Red Lake woman of murder, assault

A federal trial jury Friday in Minneapolis convicted a woman from the Red Lake Nation of murdering a 14-year-old boy and assaulting a 17-year old boy with a knife.

Patricia Ann Brown was specifically found guilty of one count of murder and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. Brown was found not guilty on a separate count of assault with a dangerous weapon alleged to have been committed on a third juvenile male.

Brown was indicted on May 20.

Following the verdict, U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones said, "This case exemplifies the U.S. Department of Justice's renewed efforts, and that of our federal and tribal law enforcement partners, to enhance public safety in Indian Country. We are appreciative of the jury verdict in this case and hope that it in some way helps the friends and family of the victim recover from their tragic loss."

According to the evidence presented at the trial, the boy who was murdered attended a social gathering on the Red Lake Indian Reservation on April 12. As he was leaving, he approached Brown, who had just arrived with a juvenile female. The boy made a number of boisterous comments to Brown, who ordered him to get away. When he failed to do so, Brown pulled out a "butterfly" knife and fatally stabbed him once in the heart.

Brown then left the gathering and drove a short distance, where she proceeded to get into an altercation with two other juvenile males, ages 16 and 17. Using her knife, Brown lacerated the hand of the 17-year-old boy, causing severe, permanent damage.

On April 13, the Red Lake Tribal Police Department notified the FBI that they had impounded a Chevrolet Blazer automobile in connection to a separate incident involving Brown. In that vehicle, authorities reportedly discovered the butterfly knife as well as some brass knuckles. The knife was determined to have the blood DNA of both the 17-year-old assault victim and the murdered child.

Brown faces a sentence of 30 years to life for the murder conviction and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison for the assault.

United States District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen will determine the sentence at a future date. This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven L. Schleicher and Tricia A. Tingle.