UPDATED: Man arrested in connection with Ten Lake Township homicide makes first court appearance

montana cutbank.jpg
Montana Cutbank, 21, of Cass Lake, was arrested in connection to last Tuesday's homicide in Ten Lake Township. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Department of Corrections.

TEN LAKE TOWNSHIP -- The 21-year-old convicted felon arrested on Saturday in connection with the Nov. 24 shooting homicide in Ten Lake Township made his first appearance in court on Tuesday.

According to a release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Oshki-Ayaabe Cutbank, 21, was arraigned on Dec. 1 in Beltrami County District Court in front of Judge John Melbye for second-degree murder.

Cutbank, originally from the Cass Lake area but reported as being from Duluth, was arrested in Duluth in connection with the killing at approximately 4:24 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, by the Duluth Police Department.

Around 9:46 p.m. on Nov. 24, local law enforcement received a report of an adult male being shot outside a residence in the 15000 block of Roosevelt Road Southeast in Ten Lake Township, about 10 miles east of Bemidji.

As released by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday, Beltrami County sheriff’s deputies, Leech Lake tribal police officers and Cass County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and found the victim deceased from what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.


Deputies soon located the suspect’s vehicle, and it was determined that three other people were present in the vehicle with Cutbank when he shot the victim.

According to the witnesses, an argument had taken place when Cutbank brandished a sawed-off shotgun and fired it, striking the victim in the head and killing him. The weapon used in the crime was later located and secured into evidence, the release said.

Cutbank is currently being held in the Beltrami County Jail, and was initially booked into the jail under four charges: second-degree murder, felony aggravated robbery, an additional department of corrections warrant for second-degree aggravated robbery, and for illegally possessing a weapon as a convicted felon.

Cutbank was convicted of a felony in February 2018, for the aggravated robbery of a Dollar General in Deer River . Due to this conviction, he was ineligible to possess a firearm. According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections website , Cutbank was under intensive supervised release as of Sept. 28.

The male victim has not yet been identified by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office. No further information is available at this time, the release said.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Leech Lake Tribal Police Department, Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating the incident.

Hannah Olson is a multimedia reporter for the Pioneer covering education, Indigenous-centric stories and features.
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