FARGO, N.D. — Two men have admitted to their involvement in the August 2016 shooting death of a woman on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation after planning to rob her.
Dakota James Charboneau, 24, of Fort Totten, N.D., and Daylin Takendrick St. Pierre, 21, of Devils Lake, pleaded guilty Friday, Nov. 9, in U.S. District Court to charges detailing the murder of 27-year-old Carla Jovon Yellowbird. In the Fargo courtroom, St. Pierre pleaded guilty to felony murder and conspiracy to commit robbery charges, while Charboneau admitted to a second-degree murder count of aiding and abetting.
Both also pleaded guilty to use of a firearm in relation to a felony crime of violence.
The charges were laid out in court documents stating Suna Felix Guy drove Yellowbird from Bismarck to the Spirit Lake Nation on or about Aug. 23, 2016, “in order to effectuate a plan for Carla Jovon Yellowbird to sell narcotics to others on the Spirit Lake Reservation.”
But Guy and Charboneau had exchanged Facebook messages in order to devise a plan to rob Yellowbird, court documents said. The three drove to Charboneau’s camper on the reservation on or about Aug. 24, 2016, where they met St. Pierre, prosecutors said.
Charboneau gave St. Pierre a firearm and keys to a vehicle before telling him and Guy to drive Yellowbird somewhere so they could rob her, according to court documents.
Once “in the country,” St. Pierre fatally shot Yellowbird, dragged her into a thicket of brush and concealed her body, court documents said. He and Guy returned to Charboneau’s camper to report the death, prosecutors said.
It’s unclear if Charboneau ordered St. Pierre to shoot Yellowbird, but Charboneau told St. Pierre to burn evidence to conceal the crime, court documents said.
Police in Mandan, N.D., announced Sept. 2, 2016, that Yellowbird was reported missing. On Sept. 21, 2016, the FBI announced it was investigating a suspicious death on the Spirit Lake Nation but previously would not confirm the name of the victim.
However, an obituary published Sept. 24, 2016, for Yellowbird said she died that day and she lived in Mandan.
It’s unclear how or where investigators discovered Yellowbird’s body or what led agents to Charboneau, St. Pierre and Guy.
U.S. Attorney Christopher Myers and the FBI announced the charges in June of this year.
Guy, who was born in 1978, pleaded guilty to a felony murder charge related to Yellowbird’s death and was ordered on Oct. 9 to spend 180 months in prison. He appealed the sentence, which is under review by the U.S. Court of Appeals’ Eighth Circuit.
Both Charboneau and St. Pierre were set to go to trial Nov. 26 and faced life in prison if convicted, but a plea agreement calls for a downward departure from the sentence. The men are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 25.
Charboneau was sentenced in September to 60 years in federal prison for an unrelated case, where he pleaded guilty to charges detailing how he shot his ex-girlfriend in the face in November 2017. In June, a jury also convicted Charboneau of beating two men with the butt of his gun in October 2017.