Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Toppenish Man Convicted of Murdering A Native American Woman Within the External Boundaries of the Yakama Nation

 


YAKIMA, Wash. – Today, Joseph H. Harrington, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that on June 10, a federal jury in Yakima, Washington, convicted Jordan Everett Stevens, an Indian, of first degree murder and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on or about April 30, 2019, Stevens assaulted a woman in Toppenish, Washington. A potential witness, ACM, a Native American female, was near the location of the assault and had a conversation with responding police officers. Stevens erroneously believed that ACM provided information to the police. On May 3, 2019, Stevens and two females drove ACM to a rural section of the Yakama reservation. Stevens pulled ACM out of the vehicle and shot her in the head as payback for speaking with the police. Stevens threatened to kill the female witnesses if they told anyone about the murder.

The FBI was alerted by a family member that ACM was missing and immediately began an investigation. In late May 2019, the FBI tracked down one of the female witnesses who identified Stevens as ACM’s killer. On May 29, 2019, the FBI found ACM’s body in a remote area of the Yakama Indian Reservation. Shortly after the FBI found the second female witness who confirmed what had happened to ACM. On July 17, 2019, an indictment was filed charging Stevens with discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence and first degree murder.

On June 7, 2021, a jury trial began at the federal courthouse in Yakima. Multiple witnesses were reluctant to testify out of fear of retribution and refused to appear for court. They were subsequently apprehended with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service and testified at the trial. On June 10, 2021, a federal jury found the defendant guilty of first degree murder and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. A conviction for first degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. On June 10, the Honorable Stanley Bastian ordered a sentencing hearing to take place on Sept. 1.

Acting U.S. Harrington said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington commends the officers with the Yakama Nation Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office who investigated this case. Their seamless partnership resulted in the successful outcome of this senseless murder. Investigating and prosecuting cases involving Missing and Murdered Indigenous Person (MMIP) is a top priority of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. This office is committed to prosecuting aggressively cases involving violent acts committed against Native American women who reside on Reservation lands within this district.”

“Too often, violence on the reservation results in the tragic and senseless loss of life,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald M. Voiret of the Seattle Field Office. “The FBI is committed to combatting crime on our state’s reservations. Stevens will have the rest of his life in prison to contemplate his choices.”

This case was investigated by the Yakama Nation Police Department, the FBI and the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Benjamin D. Seal and Richard C. Burson, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington

 

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