GREAT FALLS – Errol Longee of Poplar changed his plea in connection to the murder of his half-brother.
Longee pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter for the beating death of Patrick Mitchell.
The judge accepted Longee’s change of plea and set the sentencing to take place on February 7th.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News
(MAY 18, 2018) Nearly one year after a Poplar man was beaten to death outside a convenience store, one of the three suspects charged in Fort Peck Tribal Court has been charged in federal court.
Errol Longee, 35, is charged in U.S. District Court in Billings with one count of second-degree murder.
Longee is accused in the murder of Patrick Mitchell, who died after an assault on July 1, 2017.
The case was filed in April but it wasn’t unsealed until last week.
According to the federal charges, Longee killed Mitchell with “malice aforethought and aided and abetted the same.”
While the documents filed most recently in federal court provide limited information, the charges filed in tribal court last year offer more information about the deadly assault.
Four suspects, including Longee, were initially charged in tribal court. Those documents described the hours leading up to the assault behind TJ’s Quick Stop in Poplar.
An 18-year-old woman confronted Mitchell about abusing her years earlier and began punching him, according to tribal court documents.
The woman told authorities that Mitchell was letting her punch him and kept saying he was sorry.
Longee allegedly joined in on the assault and punched the victim 10 to 12 times.
One of the other suspects charged in tribal court, Darren Simmons, allegedly told a witness he “stomped on” the victim’s head and killed him.
According to tribal court documents, Simmons admitted he killed the victim. “I killed him,” Simmons said. “I did it, case closed.”
Simmons has not been charged with the murder in federal court.