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Press Release

Man Convicted Of Second Degree Murder Sentenced To 293 Months Imprisonment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Ernest Eugene Lillie, IV, age 24, was sentenced to 293 months after being convicted of second degree murder.

During the early morning hours of January 16, 2013, at approximately 6:13 a.m., a Yakama Nation Tribal police officer responded to a call for help. The officer arrived and observed a victim identified as J.M. who was in obvious pain. J.M. was transported to the hospital. Hospital staff observed that J.M. had suffered two gun shots wounds. J.M. identified the shooter. At about the same time, a Yakama Nation police officer found the body of a second victim, identified as A.M., positioned in a driveway on Kays Road. It was determined that A.M. had also had suffered two gunshot wounds. Yakama Nation Tribal Police officers and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation processed the crime scene and conducted an extensive search for evidence.

Agents immediately contacted the individual who had been identified by J.M. as the shooter. Agents quickly established that this individual was not involved in the shooting. Agents contacted several people who advised that they had observed Lillie, J.M., and A.M. together on the night of January 16, 2013. During the investigation, Lillie was contacted on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied any involvement in the shooting. As the investigation progressed, Agents discovered evidence which led to the matter being presented to a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury returned an Indictment and an arrest warrant was issued. Agents arrested the Defendant, advised him of his Miranda rights, and conducted an interview. Lillie subsequently confessed that he had shot A.M. and J.M. Lillie provided several details which only the shooter would have known.

On January 28, 2014, Lillie entered into a plea agreement and pled guilty to Second Degree Murder. On July 8, 2014, United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Lillie to 293 months imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of court supervision upon release from Federal prison. Lille was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $75,427.33.

Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said, "The United States Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Yakama Nation Police Department are committed to combating gun related violence within the external boundaries of the Yakama Nation. Anyone who commits a violent crime within the boundaries of the Yakama Nation will be sentenced to a lengthy term in federal prison."

The investigation was completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Yakama Nation Tribal Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Hanlon, United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of Washington.


Updated April 17, 2023