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Red Lake woman sentenced to 30 years for murder, assault

A 19-year-old woman from the Red Lake Indian Reservation was sentenced Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Minneapolis for murdering a 14-year-old boy and assaulting a 17-year-old boy with a knife April 12, 2009.

United States District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen sentenced Patricia Ann Brown to 30 years in prison on one count of murder and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. Brown was indicted May 20, 2009, and convicted by a jury on Dec. 4.

"A 14-year-old boy will never grow up to be a man, and all of this happened at the hands of you, Ms. Brown," Judge Ericksen said, outlining that Brown stabbed one person and then drove to another location only to stab a second person. "You're a danger to the community, and you're plainly guilty of these offenses. A 30-year sentence should enable the families on both sides and the whole community to work toward a state of peace and healing."

According to the evidence presented at trial, the boy who was murdered attended a social gathering on the Red Lake Reservation April 12, 2009. 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 from her. When he failed to do so, Brown retrieved a "butterfly" knife from her vehicle, returned to the victim, reached around another person who was trying to separate the two, and fatally stabbed him 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, 2009, the Red Lake Tribal Police Department notified the FBI that they had impounded a Chevrolet Blazer automobile in connection to a separate incident involving Patricia Ann Brown. In that vehicle, authorities reportedly discovered the butterfly knife as well as some brass knuckles. The knife was determined to have the DNA of the 17-year-old assault victim and the murdered child, as well as the defendant.

This case was the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven L. Schleicher and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Tricia A. Tingle.