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A man charged with using a sword to stab a Lame Deer man to death took a plea deal Wednesday that suggested it was a crime of passion.

Tyson Jo Lonebear, 28, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in U.S. District Court in Billings. The plea agreement replaces the original charge of second-degree murder.

During the hearing, Lonebear took responsibility for the death of 21-year-old Chay Little, who was stabbed on May 18, 2016, in Lame Deer.

The plea agreement, which Lonebear signed, characterizes the killing as something that happened "while in a sudden quarrel or heat of passion" and caused by "adequate provocation."

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Statements made by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Sullivan during Wednesday's hearing indicated there was a fight between Lonebear and Little that day. During the fight, Lonebear stabbed Little in the chest with a three-foot sword.

The maximum sentence for voluntary manslaughter is 15 years. Federal prisoners receive no parole.

Lonebear is scheduled for sentencing on June 15.

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General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.