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Press Release

Spirit Lake Man Sentenced for Second Degree Murder

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

FARGO, ND – United States Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on September 7, 2016, Lance Alan Robertson, 28, Fort Totten, ND, was sentenced before US District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to 14 years’ imprisonment for intentionally inflicting death on eighteen-year-old Larse Weylin Azure, Jr.  

On the evening of December 19, 2015, Robertson, an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Nation — a federally recognized Indian tribe — was consuming alcohol with family and friends while driving his vehicle on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation.  When Robertson began to drive erratically, his passengers protested, asking Robertson to let someone else drive.  Robertson parked the vehicle straddling the center line of the highway, turned off the ignition, and placed the keys to the vehicle in his pants.  The occupants pleaded with Robertson to give the keys over and to start the vehicle, but Robertson refused.  A struggle ensued between Robertson and his brother for control of the car keys, at which point Robertson told the passengers to get out of his vehicle.  As the passengers were walking along the side of the road, Robertson started his vehicle, revved the engine, backed up, crossed over the center line, and drove at three of the individuals, striking Larse Weylin Azure, Jr.  Azure died as a result of the injuries sustained from the vehicle. 

Robertson was ordered to pay $14,560.94 in restitution, and $100 in special assessments.  Upon his release from imprisonment, Robertson will be on supervised release for three years. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Janice M. Morley. 

Updated September 7, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime