Woman pleads guilty to murder on Mississippi tribal lands

Published 4:47 pm Friday, May 12, 2023

A Mississippi woman pleaded guilty on May 11, 2023, to the murder of a tribal member on the Choctaw Indian Reservation.

According to court documents, Bethany Thomas, 27, of the Bogue Chitto Community of the Choctaw Indian Reservation, stabbed the victim with a knife which resulted in his death.

In November of 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Thomas on the charge of murder in the second degree. Thomas pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 10, 2023. Thomas faces a maximum possible penalty of 15 years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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U.S. Attorney LaMarca commended the work of the Choctaw Police Department of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigated the case.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin J. Payne and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Burns.