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Man pleads guilty in woman’s killing on Crow Reservation

March 3, 2021 GMT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A man accused of fatally shooting a woman in front of her child on the Crow Indian Reservation in southern Montana has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Lenita Goes Ahead, authorities said.

Taylor Leigh Plainbull, 27, was arrested in October after police accused him of forcing the woman’s car off the road and into a ditch before shooting her, KULR-TV reported.

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Plainbull was originally charged with first-degree murder, but accepted a plea deal for a reduced charge, prosecutors said. He also pleaded guilty to use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Plainbull faces up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.

Plainbull, who was previously in a relationship with Goes Ahead, 26, was allegedly driving a stolen truck on the reservation along the Montana-Wyoming border when he passed Goes Ahead as she was driving in the opposite direction, according to a court affidavit filed by FBI agent Aaron Christensen. Goes Ahead’s child and an unidentified man believed to be her boyfriend were in the car with her.

Plainbull turned around the stolen truck and forced the victim’s vehicle off the road and into a ditch. As the man with Goes Ahead tried to call 911, Plainbull approached the vehicle and shot Goes Ahead with at least one bullet before grabbing the child and driving away, Christensen said.

Goes Ahead was pronounced dead at the scene. The child was found later that day.

Plainbull is scheduled for sentencing in July. He remains in custody at the Big Horn County Jail in Wyoming.