3 Tribal Members plea to 2nd Degree Murder

by Dec 7, 2009NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

Defendants Entered Pleas of Guilty to Second Degree Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter in 2008 Murder

Submitted by Department of Justice

BRYSON CITY, NC – Defendants Danielle Victoria Bigwitch, 21, of Cherokee; Dwayne Mitchell Littlejohn, 30, of Cherokee; and Daniel Lee Reed, 35, of Sylva, were sentenced in U.S. District Court Friday, Dec. 4 for their roles in a murder which occurred on the Cherokee Indian Reservation on November 7, 2008.

Danielle Bigwitch and Dwayne Littlejohn each pled guilty to one count of second degree murder, and Daniel Reed pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Danielle Victoria Bigwitch, also known as “Vicci,” received a 16-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release. Dwayne Mitchell Littlejohn, also known as “Manson,” received a 17-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release, and Daniel Lee Reed, also known as “Heavy D,” received a six and one half-year term of imprisonment to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. All three defendants were also ordered to pay restitution to the victim’s estate, and have remained in federal custody since their arrests on November 10, 2008.

Monday’s announcement is made by United States Attorney Edward R. Ryan for the Western District of North Carolina, Ben Reed, Chief of the Cherokee Indian Police Department, and Special Agent in Charge Owen D. Harris of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in North Carolina.

According to the official court record, the three defendants attacked another enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on November 7, 2008. The victim was stabbed in the heart and hit overthe head with a baseball bat. The hearings took place in U.S. District Court in Bryson City on Friday, Dec. 4, 2009, and the sentences were handed down by U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger.

The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Don Gast of the Asheville Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.