Tokio, North Dakota: The United States Attorney's Office for the District of North Dakota announced that 47-year-old Tammy Jean Longie, also known as Tammy Onebear has plead guilty to one count of second-degree murder, three counts of child abuse, and one count of child neglect before Chief Judge Peter D. Welte.
All of the crimes occurred within Indian County at the Spirit Lake Reservation.
According to the statement released, two siblings had been placed into the care of Tammy and her husband, 44-year-old Erich Longie Jr in July 2019 by the Spirit Lake Tribal Social Services.
On May 6, 2020 officers with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to a call at their residence and found a deceased 5-year-old child in their basement.
The child, Raven Thompson, was reported to have bruising throughout their body and an autopsy ruled the death was a homicide due to bilateral subdural hematomas resulting from assault. According to the report, the Raven had abrasions and contusions that were consistent with "multiple episodes of inflicted trauma."
The Raven's sibling, 7-year-old Zane, was transported to the hospital for treatment and remained there for more than a month. While also showing bruising over their body, the primary medical concern was heart failure due to malnutrition.
Inforum reports that two biological children in the home also showed signs of abuse.
Erich has signed an agreement stating that he would plead guilty to the charges against him which included first-degree murder. It is unclear whether his attorney will file a motion to withdraw the plea or not, as Erich has written to the judge stating that he had believed the first-degree charge would be dismissed as a part of the plea agreement.
If the plea stands, Erich faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison when he is sentenced on February 22.
Tammy faces the possibility of life in prison, but will be required to serve at least a minimum of 10 years in prison when she is sentenced on April 14 and 15.