OKLAHOMA CITY — Isaiah Whitefox Redbird, 34, Carnegie, was found guilty Tuesday of federal charges of premeditated murder and assault stemming from a 2018 case.
The verdict followed two days of deliberation by the jury, according to U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing. According to facts presented at trial, Redbird bore a grudge against Byron “Subee” Tongkeamah Jr., and his girlfriend, Kayleigh Roughface, who, at the time, were homeless Native American residents of Carnegie.
Downing said that Redbird entered an enclosed porch of an abandoned house on the night of Sept. 11, 2018, where Tongkeamah Jr. and Roughface had taken refuge and approached them where they were in bed on a foam mattress on the floor.
The next morning, Carnegie police discovered the disoriented Roughface walking down the street in Carnegie. She was covered with dried blood and had massive trauma, including a fractured skull, a fractured eye socket, a broken arm and a broken finger. Soon after that, officers discovered the body of Tongkeamah Jr. inside the enclosed porch.
The jury determined that Redbird struck each of them multiple times on the head with a crowbar. Tongkeamah Jr. died from multiple blunt force trauma injuries to his skull, which was shattered by the blows.
Redbird fled, buried the crowbar in the mud of the Washita River, burned and buried his clothes, and fled to Arizona, Downing said. Roughface survived, despite losing all memory of the night of the attack.
Audio-recordings of Redbird’s phone conversations revealed that he believed he had a duty to execute Tongkeamah Jr. and Roughface based on rumors he had heard about them, Downing said. Multiple tribal members testified against Redbird. At trial, Redbird claimed there had been an altercation in the carport, and he acted in self-defense.
The federal government has jurisdiction over the offense because Redbird is a Kiowa Indian, and the offense occurred in Indian country.
At sentencing, which will be set by the court in approximately three months, Redbird will receive mandatory life in federal prison without parole, according to Downing.