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A Lame Deer man admitted Wednesday to stabbing his half-brother to death during an alcohol-fueled confrontation on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2017.

Darrell Lee Whiteman, 30, pleaded guilty to a single charge of voluntary manslaughter in U.S. District Court in Billings. There is no plea deal in the case.

During the change of plea hearing before Judge Susan Watters, Whiteman admitted to killing his half-brother, referred to in court documents only as “John Doe,” on March 4, 2017. The man was presumably 32-year-old Dana L. Shoulderblade, whose death the FBI previously said was being investigated as a criminal matter.

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.

On March 4, 2017, Whiteman was at his half-brother’s house, according to court documents. The two were drinking, and at one point Whiteman accused his girlfriend of having sex with his half-brother.

The two men continued to argue in the kitchen, where Whiteman grabbed a kitchen knife, according to court records. While a person was standing between them, Whiteman reached around the person and stabbed Shoulderblade in the chest. Whiteman then left the house while Shoulderblade lay on the floor.

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An autopsy determined Shoulderblade died of a single stab wound to the chest, which measured about 7 inches deep.

Whiteman, an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, faces up to 15 years in prison, three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.

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Morning Reporter

General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.