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Red Lake man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter

A 27-year-old Red Lake man appeared Tuesday in federal court where he pleaded guilty to killing a passenger in his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Appearing before United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank in Duluth, Donald Joseph Sumner Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the incident, which occurred Sept. 18. Sumner was indicted Nov. 18.

In his plea agreement, Sumner admitted killing Daniel DeFoe without malice while recklessly driving on the Red Lake Reservation. Sumner faces a potential maximum penalty of eight years in prison for his crime. Judge Frank will determine his sentence at a future date.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, the

Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Minnesota State Patrol. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.

The federal government has primary law enforcement jurisdiction over the Red Lake Indian Reservation.