Skip to main content
Press Release

Red Lake Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Murder

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

BEMIDJI, Minn. – A Ponemah man was sentenced today to 144 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for the murder of a woman on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, in 2019, William Jones, IV, 24, and the victim were involved in a romantic relationship and lived together at the victim’s house in Ponemah. During the evening of November 6, 2019, Jones repeatedly assaulted the victim in their residence, hitting her on the shoulders, arms, and torso, and throwing her against a wall. During the assault, the victim’s head was struck, and she suffered a brain injury. Jones did not contact emergency personnel or attempt to render aid to the victim despite her obvious injuries. The victim remained in the house unconscious for almost two days. During that time, Jones was in the house and chose not to contact emergency personnel or otherwise render any aid to the victim.

According to court documents, on November 8, 2019, Jones’s mother contacted emergency personnel after arriving at the house and observing the victim’s condition. The victim was transported to Sanford Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, where medical personnel determined that the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, which caused the victim to remain in a persistent vegetative state with no hope for recovery. The victim died on November 22, 2019, as a result of her injuries and the defendant’s failure to seek immediate and life-saving medical assistance on the victim’s behalf.

Jones pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder on October 21, 2021. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Nancy E. Brasel.

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

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Evan B. Gilead and Deidre Y. Aanstad prosecuted the case.

Updated April 4, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime