Marcia Ann Goodbear Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on August 18, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, MARCIA ANN GOODBEAR, a 34-year-old resident of Lame Deer, pled guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury and misprision of a felony. Sentencing has been set for November 17, 2010. She is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lori Harper Suek and Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On August 28, 2008, L.G.B. Goodbear, age 6-years-old, GOODBEAR's step-daughter, was transported to Indian Health Services (IHS) in Lame Deer with extensive injuries where police were contacted. GOODBEAR's husband, Adrian Goodbear, told police that L.G.B. had fallen out of a tree. GOODBEAR also told medical personnel and then later law enforcement the same story. Medical personnel at Lame Deer advised that the injuries were inconsistent with a fall from a tree.
L.G.B. was transported, via helicopter, to St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings for further medical treatment and 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.
Initial interviews of family members, including GOODBEAR, revealed inconsistencies with Adrian Goodbear's story. When Adrian Goodbear was confronted with these inconsistencies and the medical findings, he requested a lawyer.
Through repeated interviews with GOODBEAR and other family members, law enforcement learned that on the evening of August 28, 2008, Adrian Goodbear took L.G.B. into a back bedroom, closed the door, and assaulted her with his hands and feet for about 20 minutes. L.G.B. then was silent. During that time, GOODBEAR did nothing to stop the assault. Approximately 30 minutes later, Adrian Goodbear told GOODBEAR that L.G.B. was not breathing. GOODBEAR wanted to take L.G.B. to IHS, but Adrian Goodbear refused, saying he would go to jail for assault. It took the intervention of GOODBEAR's father before L.G.B. was transported to IHS in Lame Deer about an hour after she fell silent.
After Adrian Goodbear pled guilty to second degree murder, GOODBEAR was re-interviewed. During that interview on February 19, 2009, she admitted that she helped Adrian Goodbear get rid of evidence and clean up the room in which the assault took place. She also admitted that at about the same time, she struck S.G.B., L.G.B.'s little sister who was 2-years-od at the time, in the back which caused S.G.B. to strike the wall with her head. S.G.B. was removed from the home the next day and had a huge swollen bruise on her forehead. GOODBEAR admitted that she caused that injury.
GOODBEAR faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 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.