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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Garryowen woman sentenced for running over, killing man

BILLINGS—A Garryowen woman who admitted killing a man by running over him with a minivan as he was walking along a road on the Crow Indian Reservation was sentenced today to 10 years in prison and to five years of supervised release, said U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme.

Vernelle Lynn Badbear, 36, pleaded guilty in October to second degree murder in the November 2016 death of the victim.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters presided.

Court records filed by the prosecution said that a highway road painter found a body on Highway 451 near Wyola on Nov. 12, 2016. The body was identified through tattoos. Knowing that the deceased had been in a relationship with Badbear and lived nearby, law enforcement officers began an investigation with her.

Badbear initially told investigators she and the victim had argued on Nov. 4, he had left the house and that she had not seen him since. After further questioning, Badbear admitted she had run over the victim.

Badbear admitted that she got upset with the victim because he was drinking alcohol when he was supposed to watch the children. The victim left the house and began walking down the road. Badbear admitted driving after the victim in her minivan, hitting him and then running over him. An autopsy determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma consistent with having been hit and run over by a vehicle and that it would have taken some time for the victim to die.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Suek prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.

 

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated June 20, 2019