One of four defendants charged in tribal court in the beating death of a man in Poplar in July has been charged in federal court.
Federal prosecutors filed a grand jury indictment against Errol Wayne Longee in U.S. District Court in Great Falls on April 6. He is charged with second-degree murder in the July 1, 2017, death of Patrick Wayne Mitchell and is set to be arraigned on May 29 in Great Falls.
Under federal law, second-degree murder is punishable by up to life imprisonment.
Mitchell, 41, was beaten to death behind a Poplar convenience store, TJ’s Quik Stop, at about 2:21 a.m. on July 1, according to charging documents from Fort Peck Tribal Court.
Longee admitted to law enforcement that he punched Mitchell 10 to 12 times, according to tribal prosecutors. Longee was originally charged in Fort Peck Tribal Court the week after Mitchell’s death.
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Charged in tribal court alongside Errol Longee were Angela Longee, Darren Simons and Tamara Red Eagle, none of whom have yet been charged in U.S. District Court.
According to tribal prosecutors, Angela Longee had been talking to Mitchell about a prior sexual assault when she began punching him. She was later found with blood on her shoes.
Police found Simons outside a nearby house. A witness said Simons initially said "they stomped on someone's head and killed him," charges state. He later said, "I killed him" to law enforcement, according to court documents.
Simons told officers to "ask Tamara Red Eagle about it," which led to her charges, the documents say.
In Fort Peck Tribal Court, Angela Longee and Simons are charged with murder, while Red Eagle is charged with criminal complicity and solicitation involving murder.