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Press Release

Wadda Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Role in 2013 Northern Cheyenne Murder

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

BILLINGS – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that today, in U.S. District Court in Billings, Garrett Wadda was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his role in a 2013 murder on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.  Wadda, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Watters to 120 months in custody followed by 3 years of supervised release in connection with his guilty plea to accessory after the fact to murder.   Wadda’s sentencing follows the February 2015 sentencing of his common-law wife, Eugenia Ann Rowland, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder for the crime and was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Suek told the court that on the night of July 3, 2013, the victim was with Wadda and Rowland.  The victim was last seen early the following morning getting into her car.  Surveillance footage from a business captured Rowland getting into the front passenger seat of the car.  Investigators learned Wadda was in the backseat of the car, by himself.

Wadda and Rowland were interviewed multiple times by law enforcement the week following the victim’s disappearance.  Both their accounts of what happened changed over the course of the interviews.  The victim’s body was found on July 8, 2013, near the Lame Deer rodeo grounds.  Before the victim’s body was found, Wadda and Rowland left the Northern Cheyenne reservation to stay with relatives near the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.  Law enforcement officers learned that Wadda had borrowed a car from a family member and returned the car with a very strong odor emanating from the back seat.  After a search of the car, the victim’s DNA was found on a rear seat cushion taken from the car.

“The defendant’s actions were callous and dehumanizing,” said Montana U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter. “This was a senseless murder of a young woman. We are grateful for law enforcement’s teamwork in bringing both defendants to justice.”

The investigation was a collaborative effort between the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Flathead Tribal Police Department, Wind River Police Department, Rapid City Police Department, Pine Ridge Criminal Investigations, BIA Rapid City Drug Unit and Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

Updated June 4, 2015