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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Monday, April 28, 2014

Man Charged With Murder On The Meskwaki Nation Settlement

Jonathan Curtis Youngbear, age 20, from the Meskwaki Nation Settlement, Iowa, has been charged with first degree murder within “Indian Country.”  The charge is contained in an Indictment filed on April 24, 2014, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. 

The Indictment alleges that, on or about February 24, 2014, Youngbear killed Severn Daniel Jefferson on the Meskwaki Nation Settlement near Tama, Iowa.  The Indictment alleges Youngbear killed Jefferson by stabbing him with a knife.

If convicted, Youngbear faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

Youngbear appeared today in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was held without bond.  Youngbear’s next appearance for trial is set for June 23, 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 Peter Deegan and Anthony Morfitt and was investigated by the Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police, 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-46-LRR.

Updated February 19, 2015