A federal grand jury has charged a 34-year-old Carnegie man with the Sept. 11, 2018, killing of one man and assault of a woman in Indian Country.
Isaiah Whitefox Redbird was charged with premeditated murder and assault with the intent to commit murder, according to U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.
According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury Wednesday, Redbird deliberately killed Byron Scott Yeahquo-Tongkeamah Jr., 32, by striking him on the head with a blunt force instrument (a crowbar) on tribal land in Carnegie. He also is charged in a separate count with assaulting a 23-year-old woman on the same day with the intent to commit murder.
Carnegie police found the woman suffering from severe head injuries walking on a street in Carnegie the morning of Sept. 12, 2018. According to the indictment, she could not remember how she sustained her injuries. Police found her boyfriend, Tongeamah, also known as “Subee,” later that morning. He was under the carport of an abandoned residence where they had been sleeping. The abandoned residence is in Indian Country, and Tongeamah and the woman are both Native Americans.
The state Medical Examiner’s autopsy report showed that Yeahquo-Tongkeamah suffered “multiple blunt force trauma impacts to the right side of the head,” as well as fractures to the right skull and sinus, numerous base skull fractures with a complete hinge fracture of the skull, broken right side of the jaw and defensive wounds to his hands.
Two witnesses told investigators they had seen Redbird near the abandoned residence on the night of Sept. 11, 2018. Further investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation led to a residence where Redbird allegedly attempted to burn and then bury his clothing soon after Tongeamah’s death.
Redbird was arrested in Arizona on Sept. 26, 2018, for an unrelated probation violation. He has been in federal custody since that time.
If found guilty of premeditated murder, Redbird faces a mandatory punishment of life in prison, Downing said. If convicted of assault with intent to commit murder, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and up to five years of supervised release. He also could be fined up to $250,000 on each count.