SALT LAKE CITY — A 28-year-old man has pleaded guilty to a lesser voluntary manslaughter charge in the 2016 death of a Ute Indian Tribe member.
As part of a plea agreement, Trent Sowsonicut, of Fort Duchesne, admitted Monday afternoon in Salt Lake City federal court that he shot and killed Leroy Swift Eagle Murray, 27, during a disagreement on the Uintah-Ouray Reservation on Aug. 13, 2016.
A grand jury indicted Sowsonicut in January 2017 on charges of murder in the second degree and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. Those were dropped in the plea deal.
Sowsonicut, also a tribal member, went to Murray's home Aug. 13, where he fired a shotgun once in the bedroom, according to investigators with the FBI and Uintah County.Comment on this story
Emergency crews responded to the home in Gusher about 1 a.m. and took Murray to the hospital, the U.S. District Attorney's Office said in a prepared statement. It was determined he died from the gunshot wound.
Search and rescue crews found the loaded weapon in the river under the Randlett Bridge, according to the statement.
The plea agreement includes a sentence of 6 1/2 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, but that is subject to change at his sentencing on March 15.