Man pleads guilty to murdering girlfriend on Red Lake Indian Reservation

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A northern Minnesota man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the 2019 murder of a woman on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

The Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office said William Jones IV, 24, of Ponemah, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Nov. 6, 2019, assaulting his girlfriend who later died of her injuries.

Prosecutors say Jones beat the victim in their home, hitting her in the shoulders, arms and torso. After the attack, the victim fell and hit his head. Jones did not call for help, even though the victim was unconscious for two days inside the house.

“This defendant not only perpetrated an extremely violent assault on his victim, but he exhibited complete disregard for human life when he failed to seek medical assistance,” the U.S. attorney said per Acting W. Anders Folk, in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting those who commit horrific acts of domestic violence like this, which disproportionately afflict Native American women.”

When the victim’s mother saw her daughter’s condition, she phoned authorities and emergency crews rushed the victim to a hospital in Fargo. Doctors determined that the victim had suffered head trauma and was in a persistent vegetative state. The victim died later that month.

A sentencing date for Jones has yet to be set.

Domestic Violence Resources

For anonymous and confidential help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224.

People can also call the Women’s Advocates Crisis Hotline at 651-227-8284. Video chat is available here.

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Nohemi M. Moore