(SD)-New Plea Deal In Reservation Murder
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - One of two defendants who had accepted plea bargains for 2nd-degree murder that offered contradictory scenarios for the January death of a woman on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has signed a new plea agreement with federal prosecutors.
No sentencing date has been set for 24-year old Elizabeth LeBeau on single counts of 2nd-degree murder and accessory to murder in the death of 24-year old Emily Bluebird.
LeBeau and 31-year old Fred Quiver were originally charged with 1st-degree murder, but accepted plea bargains in March. LeBeau pleading guilty to 2nd-degree murder and Quiver to accessory to 2nd-degree murder, but each said the other strangled Bluebird.
Federal District Judge Jeffrey Viken approved both plea deals, but threw them out this summer since they offered such conflicting stories on who was responsible for the actual killing.
Prosecutors said LeBeau and Quiver were highly intoxicated at the time of the killing and both believed what they said in the pleas was the truth. Viken said he'd never seen such a situation in his 40 years as an attorney and judge.
Bluebird’s body was found in a shallow grave about 3 weeks after her death following an extensive search by volunteers, including her family and friends.
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