BILLINGS — Randy Lee Littlebird of Birney was sentenced in federal court in Billings on Wednesday to 25 years in prison for killing a woman on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in 2018.
Littlebird, 36 years old, pleaded guilty in July to second-degree murder, strangulation, and domestic abuse by habitual offender, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said in a news release. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release.
Before pleading guilty, he had faced up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine for the crimes.
U.S. District Judge Susan Watters handed down the sentence.
Prosecutors said in court documents that Littlebird killed the victim, identified only as "Jane Doe," on February 4, 2018, at their shared residence in Birney.
The two had been drinking all day. Another man in the house heard them fighting and then heard the woman yell, "No Randy, don't, don't," followed by a scream, and then silence.
The other man found the woman lying in a room near a rope, and Littlebird told him she had killed herself and he had moved the body.
Two days later, he confessed to the murder in an interview with federal agents, according to prosecutors. He told them he tied rope around her ankles to prevent her from leaving when he left the room. When he returned, he grabbed the rope, which was now around her neck, and strangled her.
Nine months later, prosecutors filed charges Littlebird, who had since left town. He was arrested in North Dakota on a warrant.
Court documents note that Littlebird had four domestic abuse convictions on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation: July 27, 2010; December 5, 2012; May 27, 2015; and January 1, 2016.