Man Charged With Murder On The Meskwaki Nation Settlement
Gordon Lasley, Jr., 25, from the Meskwaki Nation Settlement, Iowa, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder in “Indian country.” The charges are contained in Indictment filed on April 9, 2014, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids.
The Indictment alleges that, on or about February 5, 2014, Lasley murdered two people, Gordon Lasley, Sr. and Kim Renee Lasley, by striking them with a machete.
If convicted of one or both counts, Lasley faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Under federal law, unless the governing body of a federally recognized tribe has elected to have the death penalty apply to offenses that occur on the tribe’s “Indian country,” the death penalty is not available as a punishment in federal court. The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, the tribe that resides on the Meskwaki Nation Settlement, has not elected to have the death penalty apply to offenses committed on the Settlement.
Lasley appeared today in federal court in Cedar Rapids for arraignment. Lasley was previously ordered held without bond and will remain in the custody of the United States Marshals service. Lasley’s trial has been scheduled for June 9, 2014.
As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
In 2010, the Department of Justice launched an initiative making public safety in tribal communities a top priority. The goal of the initiative is to help tribes build and sustain safe and secure communities across the country. Information about the initiative is available at http://www.justice.gov/tribal.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys CJ Williams and Anthony Morfitt and was investigated by the Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police Department, the Tama County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/. The case file number is 14-CR-00045.