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Birney man charged with homicide on Northern Cheyenne Reservation

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A Birney man pleaded not guilty Tuesday in federal court after he was charged with killing a man on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation earlier this year.

Terrence Arturo Limberhand, 31, was indicted in U.S. District Court earlier this month on charges of first degree murder, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and possession of a stolen firearm. The shooting in June that left one man dead spurred a town-wide lockdown in Lame Deer and drew multiple local and federal agencies into a manhunt.

Federal prosecutors allege Limberhand shot and killed a man, identified in court documents as John Doe, near Lame Deer on June 21. On June 28, Limberhand was also allegedly found in possession of a stolen firearm.

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The Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council alerted Lame Deer residents to the shooting, the Gazette reported, warning them the following day to be aware of their surroundings as no suspect had been arrested. The Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office also warned residents in Ashland, specifically the St. Labre campus, to also be vigilant and avoid the area if possible.

Northern Cheyenne Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel, the FBI, RSCO and Montana Highway Patrol all assisted in the search for the suspect. An indictment was filed against Limberhand on November 16, and he was booked into Yellowstone County Detention Facility on November 22.

If convicted of first degree murder, Limberhand faces a mandatory minimum of life in prison, plus a fine of up to $250,000.

The case that led to Limberhand’s indictment was investigated by the FBI, tasked with addressing the most serious violent crimes in Indian Country. The bureau is also a part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative, launched in 2019 to address endemic violence against American Indians and Alaska Natives. In 2018, according to data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, homicide was the third leading cause of death among Indigenous men and the sixth leading cause among Indigenous women.

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