Birney-area man sentenced for woman's strangulation death

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A resident of Montana's Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for a woman's strangulation death in February 2018.

Randy Lee Littlebird, 36, pleaded guilty in July to second-degree murder, strangulation and domestic abuse by an habitual offender in the death of Toni Fisher, 36, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Littlebird told investigators that Fisher hanged herself before confessing that he strangled her with a rope after an argument, court records said.

A resident at the house reported hearing a confrontation between the two and the victim yell, “No Randy, don't, don't,” then heard her scream, followed by silence, court record said.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters sentenced Littlebird on Wednesday, noting his criminal history that includes four previous convictions for domestic violence in Northern Cheyenne courts as well as three DUIs and 33 citations for public intoxication, The Billings Gazette reported.

“So there is very much a measure of this sentence that is simply to remove you” from the community, Watters said.

In court documents, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Dake called Littlebird “a violent alcoholic who beats women."