Federal Charges Handed Out for Two Murder Cases on Spirit Lake Reservation

The murders of Amanda Engst and Carla Yellowbird happened within ten months of each other

SPIRIT LAKE RESERVATION, N.D. — Over the course of ten months, two women were murdered on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

Since crimes on reservations fall under federal jurisdiction, U.S. Attorney Christopher Myers formally filed charges against those allegedly involved in the murders.

“A great deal of time and effort is put forth everyday by agents and prosecutors to ensure that those who commit these crimes, some of them the most serious crimes we work with in this area, are held accountable,” said Robert C. Perry, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the FBI.

In October 2015, 36–year–old Amanda Engst went missing. Her body was found in the Sheyenne River near Warwick four months.

38–year–old Billy Joe Herman, who is currently held at the Stillwater, Minnesota prison was charged with felony murder, kidnapping, and assault with intent to commit murder.

Herman is accused of strangling Engst with a cord and violently bludgeoned her with his fist and feet.

In August of 2016, court documents say 27–year–old Carla Yellowbird drove with Suna Guy from Bismarck to Spirit Lake to carry out a plan to sell drugs on the reservation. According to the documents, Guy messaged Dakota Charboneau on Facebook outlining a plan to rob Yellowbird in the country.

After driving Yellowbird to a remote location on the reservation, documents say Daylin St. Pierre shot and killed Yellowbird while robbing her of her supply and money.

Upon learning of Yellowbird’s death, documents say Charbonneau ordered St. Pierre to burn the evidence.

Yellowbird’s body was found a month later near St. Michael.

Guy pleaded guilty for his role in the murders on June 8, and is awaiting sentencing. Charbonneau and St. Pierre were handed federal charges of felony murder and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Myers said the investigation was thanks to “great partnership among law enforcement”.

Myers says federal court dates for each defendant have yet to be set.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News