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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 1, 2019

Birney man admits strangling woman to death with rope

BILLINGS – Birney resident Randy Lee Littlebird admitted today to murdering a woman by strangling her with a rope in their residence on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation last year, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Littlebird, 35, pleaded guilty to second degree murder, strangulation and domestic abuse by habitual offender.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters presided. Judge Watters continued Littlebird’s detention and set sentencing for Nov. 6, 2019.

Littlebird faces a maximum of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the murder charge, and a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the strangulation and domestic abuse charges.

In court records filed by the prosecution, Littlebird killed the victim on Feb. 4, 2018 at a shared residence in Birney. Littlebird and the victim were drinking alcohol throughout the day and were drunk. Another individual in the house heard a confrontation between the two and the victim yell, “No Randy, don’t, don’t,” then her scream, followed by silence.

Littlebird entered the individual’s room and said that the victim was unresponsive. The individual found the victim lying on the floor near a rope. Littlebird claimed the victim had killed herself and he had moved the body.

An autopsy determined the cause of death was ligature strangulation and multiple blunt force injuries.

In an interview with FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs agents on Feb. 6, 2018, Littlebird confessed to fatally strangling the victim. He admitted to tying ropes around the victim’s ankles to prevent her from leaving and then he left the room. When he returned, the two argued some more. Littlebird grabbed the rope, which was now around the victim’s neck, and while standing, pulled on it, strangling her.

Littlebird has four prior domestic abuse conviction on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Dake prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and BIA.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated July 1, 2019