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A Lame Deer man has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge accusing him of killing a man on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in 2017.

Darrell Lee Whiteman, 29, was indicted on a single count of voluntary manslaughter earlier this month. The case was unsealed Tuesday at his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Billings before Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan.

The indictment accuses Whiteman of causing the death of another man “upon a sudden quarrel and heat of passion” on March 4, 2017.

Public court documents filed by federal prosecutors do not name the alleged victim or provide any additional details.

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But the Big Horn County Attorney previously told The Gazette the FBI was investigating the death of 32-year-old Dana L. Shoulderblade. Shoulderblade was found dead that night in a residence in Muddy, an area just west of Lame Deer within the Big Horn County portion of the reservation.

At the time, no cause of death had been determined. Reached Wednesday afternoon, county coroner Terry Bullis did not immediately have any additional information on the circumstances surrounding Shoulderblade’s death.

If convicted, Whiteman faces up to 15 years in prison, three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

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Morning Reporter

General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.