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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Strangulation death sends Birney man to prison for 25 years

BILLINGS—A Birney resident with a history of domestic abuse convictions was sentenced today to 25 years in prison and five years of supervised release in the strangulation death last year of a woman on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Randy Lee Littlebird, 36, pleaded guilty in July to second degree murder, strangulation and domestic abuse by habitual offender.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters presided.

The prosecution said in court records that 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, 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 convictions 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 December 4, 2019