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Red Lake member Donald Sumner Jr. sentenced for involuntary manslaughter

A 27-year-old Red Lake man was sentenced earlier Wednesday in federal court in Bemidji for killing a passenger in the vehicle he was driving while under the influence of alcohol.

United States District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank sentenced Donald Joseph Sumner Jr., to 42 months in prison on one count of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Sept. 18, 2008, crash, in which Daniel DeFoe was killed.

Sumner was indicted Nov. 18, 2008, and pleaded guilty to the crime Dec. 15, 2009. In his plea agreement, Sumner admitted killing DeFoe, without malice, while recklessly driving on the Red Lake Reservation.

The Red Lake Reservation is a federal-jurisdiction reservation. The federal government has primary law enforcement authority regarding felonies that occur there. This case was investigated by the FBI in conjunction with the Red Lake Tribal Police Department. Assistance was provided by the Minnesota State Patrol. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.