Ponemah man pleads guilty to murder

A Ponemah man entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder after an assault turned deadly on the Red Lake Reservation in 2019.

According to court documents, 24-year-old William Jones, IV, and the victim were romantically involved and lived together at the victim’s house in Ponemah.

The allegations say that on Nov. 6, 2019, Jones repeatedly assaulted the victim, hitting her shoulders, arms and torso then throwing her against a wall. The victim fell to the floor and struck her head.

The victim remained in the house unconscious for almost two days.

Jones’s mother contacted emergency personnel on Nov. 8, after arriving to the house and seeing the victim.

The victim was transported to Sanford Fargo, where she was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.

This brain injury left her in a vegetative state with no hope for recovery.

She died on Nov. 22, 2019.

“This defendant not only perpetrated an extremely violent assault on his victim, he showed complete disregard for human life when he failed to seek medical aid,” said Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting those who commit horrific acts of domestic violence such as this, which disproportionately plague Native American women.”

A sentencing date has not yet been set.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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