Adrian Gary Goodbear Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on February 18, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, ADRIAN GARY GOODBEAR, a 34-year-old resident of Lame Deer, pled guilty to second degree murder. Sentencing has been set for May 19, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On August 28, 2008, L.G.B., GOODBEAR's 6-year-old daughter, was transported to Indian Health Services (IHS) in Lame Deer with extensive injuries and the police were contacted. GOODBEAR told police that L.G.B. had fallen out of a tree. Medical personnel at Lame Deer advised that the injuries were inconsistent with a fall from a tree.
The 6-year-old was transported, via helicopter, to St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings for further medical treatment because of the extent of her injuries. L.G.B. had extensive injuries to her back, abdomen, head, and legs caused by non-accidental trauma. The injuries could not have been caused by a single fall from a tree. While at St. Vincent's, medical personnel determined that L.G.B. had no brain activity. She was subsequently transported to Denver Children's Hospital.
Medical personnel in Denver determined that L.G.B. suffered from a lacerated liver, lacerated spleen, subdural hematoma, and multiple other injuries. Denver medical personnel concurred with medical personnel at St. Vincent's that the injuries were caused by non-accidental trauma. L.G.B. was pronounced dead in Denver on the afternoon of August 30, 2008.
Although, initially, interviews of family members repeated GOODBEAR's story - that L.G.B. had fallen from a tree - ultimately the investigators learned the following. Through interviews with the stepmother and the other siblings, investigators learned that on the evening of August 28, 2008, GOODBEAR took L.G.B. into a back bedroom, closed the door, and assaulted her with his hands and feet and belt for about 20 minutes. L.G.B. then was silent. Approximately 30 minutes later, GOODBEAR told the stepmother that L.G.B. was not breathing. The stepmother wanted to take L.G.B. to IHS; GOODBEAR refused, saying he would go to jail for assault. After the stepmother's father intervened, L.G.B. was transported to IHS in Lame Deer about an hour after L.G.B. fell silent.
K.H. (age 13), a stepbrother of L.G.B.'s, reported that he heard L.G.B. screaming on the evening of August 28, 2008, and he observed GOODBEAR striking her with a belt. He also saw GOODBEAR and his mother put L.G.B. on the hood of the car and try and resuscitate her.
The autopsy of L.G.B. performed in Denver, noted that L.G.B.'s injuries were consistent with being violently kicked and struck. L.G.B. had abrasions and bruising on almost every surface of her body. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, which resulted in a large subdural hematoma. The autopsy revealed a multitude of other injuries.
When interviewed, GOODBEAR stated that L.G.B. fell from a tree. When confronted with the factual inconsistencies of his explanation and the medical findings, he requested a lawyer.
GOODBEAR faces possible penalties of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.