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A 35-year-old man has been charged in federal court with killing his former girlfriend in February.

Randy Lee Littlebird was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in North Dakota on Wednesday and booked into the Burleigh County Detention Center in Bismarck. A criminal complaint filed Nov. 19 in U.S. District Court in Billings charges Littlebird with second degree murder.

On Feb. 4, Bureau of Indian Affairs police responded to a home in Birney, on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, and found a woman dead, according to charges. Also in the home was the woman’s dating partner, Randy Lee Littlebird, and the homeowner, Claude Goggles, the BIA officer said.

Littlebird said the woman had hanged herself, and there was a rope on the floor several feet away from the woman’s body, according to charges. There was blood on the floor and the woman’s nose was bleeding, BIA police said.

Littlebird told police he’d been drinking earlier with the woman and they’d argued. He said he then went to bed and woke up to find the woman unresponsive on the floor, with the rope around her neck.

Goggles, the homeowner, told police he’d heard Littlebird and the woman arguing in another part of the house earlier, according to charges. The homeowner said he heard the woman say, “No Randy, don’t, don’t” and then heard her yell “as if she was hurt,” and then heard nothing, charges state.

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Littlebird then came into Goggles’ room and told him the woman was unresponsive, according to charges. Littlebird led Goggles into the hallway where the woman was lying on the floor with a rope a short distance away. Littlebird was crying and “said something like, ‘I don’t know what she did to herself,’” the charges state.

BIA police arrested Littlebird on suspicion of a Northern Cheyenne criminal violation and interviewed him two days later, where he confessed to killing the woman by using the rope after an argument, the charges state. BIA police said the former wife and a former girlfriend of Littlebird both told them he had “routinely assaulted them” in their relationships, according to charges.

It was not immediately clear when Littlebird was released from tribal custody. 

The woman died of strangulation and multiple blunt force trauma, the charges state.

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