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Press Release

Fort Kipp woman sentenced to prison for involuntary manslaughter in vehicle death

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

GREAT FALLS  — A Fort Kipp woman who admitted to striking and killing a man with her vehicle on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation was sentenced today to 18 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Joanna Sayetsitty, 35, pleaded guilty in August to involuntary manslaughter.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

The government alleged that on Aug. 22, 2019, Sayetsitty was driving around the Fort Kipp area with the victim, drinking alcohol and listening to music. At some point, Sayetsitty and the victim had a fight, and the victim got out of the vehicle. Sayetsitty drove away, running over the victim and leaving him in a field, where he died. The body was found three days later and was only identified after his clothing was described on social media. Sayetsitty admitted in a court hearing to driving the vehicle in a reckless manner, and striking the victim, causing his death.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy A. Johnson prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice and the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office.



Clair Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated December 1, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 22-295