BEMIDJI -- A 39-year-old Red Lake man pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder.
The U.S. Attorney's office is prosecuting Jeremiah Kingbird and issued a statement on the case.
“Domestic violence is one of the biggest challenges facing our tribal communities and Native American women, in particular, experience this type of violence at a disproportionately high rate. During the month of October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we honor the survivors of domestic violence and recommit our efforts to bring perpetrators like Mr. Kingbird to justice,” U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said in a release.
The case originated Jan. 6 when Kingbird and his wife, the victim, were driving home to Ponemah "following a night of drinking," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office's release. An argument broke out between the two, and Kingbird struck the victim while he was driving. He "used his hand to strangle her and then left her on the road near Highway 1 and Old Ponemah Road in Redby," the release said.
Law enforcement later found the victim lying face down in the snow with severe injuries to her head and neck. She was having trouble breathing. Emergency personnel took the victim to the hospital in Red Lake, but she died. Law enforcement officials found blood on the front passenger window of the vehicle, the release said.
The FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department investigated the case.