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Press Release

Red Lake Man Pleads Guilty To Second Degree Murder

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

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the guilty plea of JEREMIAH KINGBIRD, 39, to one count of second degree murder. KINGBIRD, who was indicted on February 20, 2019, entered his guilty plea earlier today before Judge Susan Richard Nelson in U.S. District Court in Bemidji, Minnesota.

United States Attorney Erica MacDonald said, “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.”

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, during the early morning hours of January 6, 2019, following a night of drinking, KINGBIRD and the victim, KINGBIRD’s wife, were traveling in a motor vehicle to their home in Ponemah, Minnesota, when KINGBIRD and the victim began to argue and engage in a physical altercation. While driving, KINGBIRD struck the victim in her head, used his hand to strangle her, and then left her on the road near Highway 1 and Old Ponemah Road in Redby.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, law enforcement found the victim, hours later, lying face down in the snow; she had severe injuries to her head and neck and was having difficulty breathing. The victim was transported to the Red Lake IHS Hospital where hospital staff were unsuccessful in reviving her. During a search of KINGBIRD’s vehicle, law enforcement observed blood on the front passenger window of the vehicle. KINGBIRD admitted to violently assaulting the victim and leaving her outside in the elements.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Red Lake Tribal Police Department and the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gina L. Allery and Assistant U.S. Attorney Deidre Y. Aanstad.


Defendant Information:


Ponemah, Minn.


  • Murder in the second degree, 1 count





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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Updated October 8, 2019

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime