Ponemah man pleads guilty to murder

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI–A Ponemah man has pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of his wife.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 39-year-old Jeremiah Kingbird and his wife were driving to their home in Ponemah in early January after a night of drinking and began to argue.

While driving, Kingbird struck the victim’s head and strangled her, then left her on the road near Highway 1 and Old Ponemah Road in Redby.

Law enforcement found her hours later, lying face down in the snow with severe injuries to her head and neck and was having difficulties breathing.

She was transported to Red Lake IHS Hospital but died.

October is domestic violence awareness month, and U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald says domestic violence is one of the biggest challenges facing tribal communities and that American Indian women in particular experience this type of violence at a disproportionately high rate.

Kingbird was indicted in February, and a sentencing date was not immediately available.


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 events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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