BILLINGS — March 6 marks a grim anniversary for the family of Christy Woodenthigh of Lame Deer. That was the day the 33-year-old mother of three was run over and killed by a vehicle on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2020.
On Saturday, March 6, family and friends plan to gather in honor of Woodenthigh to share photos and memorabilia with the community. A flyer details information on the gathering, listing it for 1 p.m. at the Old Chicken Coop in Lame Deer. The very bottom reads “Justice For Christy Rose!”
According to the flyer, she died by vehicular homicide - but the man charged in her death is awaiting trial for involuntary manslaughter.
An indictment was issued for Jerard David Threefingers in August of 2020, five months after Woodenthigh’s death. According to her family, Threefingers and Woodenthigh have two children together.
The 31-year-old Lame Deer man entered a not guilty plea on November 17. A trial was scheduled for late March, but has been rescheduled for May.
Court document details are limited, but state Threefinger’s reckless driving and driving under the influence was the cause of Woodenthigh’s death. The charge has a penalty of eight years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
Rosebud County Coroner Stephanie Hein said Woodenthigh’s official cause of death is listed as severe internal trauma due to being run over by a car.
Woodenthigh’s death is one of three mentioned by U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana when he made a push for answers and accountability from the FBI and BIA in August 2020.
“Over the past few months, multiple Northern Cheyenne Tribal members have been found dead on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, including Christy Woodenthigh, Kymani Littlebird, and Lonnie Flatness,” Tester wrote in a letter to the two agencies.
He requested more resources and greater transparency to the tragic deaths on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
“Tribal leadership and family members of the deceased have raised consistent concerns about the lack of communication from both the BIA and FBI. I urge you to work with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe to ensure family and community members continue to receive regular updates on these investigations,” Tester’s letter continued.
Threefingers was released from jail under a list of conditions.
If convicted, it wouldn’t be the first time Threefingers served a sentence for involuntary manslaughter. On October 2, 2012, court documents state Threefingers was the driver of a Ford Explorer involved in a rollover crash that killed Taneisha Pepion-Stotler, 20, of Ashland. He walked away from the scene, and his BAC was .09 when police tracked him down and took a blood sample three hours after the crash. He was sentenced to three years and one month in a federal correctional facility in Englewood, CO., followed by three years of supervised release.
A plea agreement deadline for his latest case is set for May 10, otherwise, a jury trial is scheduled to begin on May 24.