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Jury: Man guilty of murder in woman’s death on reservation

June 11, 2021 GMT

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A jury has found a man guilty of first-degree murder Thursday evening in the shooting death of Alillia “Lala” Minthorn in a remote area of the Yakama reservation.

Jordan Everett Stevens was also found guilty Thursday of discharging a firearm while committing a crime, The Yakima Herald-Republic reported.

Minthorn, 25, was missing for nearly a month before her body was discovered in the hills north of Brownstown in a closed area of the Yakama reservation on May 29, 2019. She had been shot in the head.

The trial was in federal court because Minthorn and Stevens are Native American and the murder occurred on tribal land, where the FBI often assumes jurisdiction in violent crimes.

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Witnesses showed investigators where Minthorn’s body was placed. A witness said she believed Minthorn was killed for talking to FBI agents about something Stevens and another witness had done, according to a trial brief.

Witnesses said they picked Minthorn up near a Toppenish homeless encampment known as The Compound. From there, they drove to the closed area of the reservation where Minthorn was shot, one of the witnesses said.

The trial began Monday, and the federal government rested its case Thursday. The jury reached its verdict in about two hours.