Lead Defendant in Reservation Murder Case To Change Plea
The Ethete woman who allegedly killed a man on the Wind River Indian Reservation last June is scheduled to change her not guilty plea in federal court next week, according to court records.
Susan Chippewa previously pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Jared Dean Little Whiteman.
Friday, Chippewa heard new charges against her that were filed in a second superseding indictment last week.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Shickich told her during her initial appearance that she still faces the original charge of aiding and abetting first degree murder. She now faces one count of felony first-degree murder, meaning the murder was committed during another crime, which was kidnapping, Shickich said.
If convicted on both counts, she faces punishments of life imprisonment.
Her trial, and the trials of her co-defendants Byron Spoonhunter and Jaymes Whiteman, are set for April 27.
However, the schedule could change because her defense attorney Daniel Blythe on Wednesday filed a notice for a change of plea, which is scheduled for next Thursday. The plea agreement was sealed, and no other details are available.
The case began in mid-June when Little Whiteman’s grandmother reported she had not heard from her grandson for nearly two weeks, according to court records.
Two men picked up Little Whiteman from the grandmother's house and took him to a trailer on the reservation. When they arrived, Little Whiteman was attacked, taken into the trailer, was tied, placed on a recliner and interrogated about drugs and money.
Chippewa allegedly stabbed him. Two men took Little Whiteman's body to another area and buried him.
FBI and BIA officers exhumed the body and positively identified it as that of Little Whiteman’s. An autopsy determined the manner of death was homicide, and the cause of death was more than 40 stab wounds include a cut to the throat.