Home Minneapolis Press Releases 2009 Red Lake Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter

Red Lake Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 16, 2009
  • District of Minnesota (612) 664-5600

A 27-year-old Red Lake man appeared yesterday in federal court, where he pleaded guilty to killing a passenger in his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Appearing before United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank in Duluth, Donald Joseph Sumner, Jr., pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the incident, which occurred on September 18, 2008. Sumner was indicted on November 18, 2008.

In his plea agreement, Sumner admitted killing Daniel DeFoe without malice while recklessly driving on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Sumner faces a potential maximum penalty of eight years in prison for his crime. Judge Frank will determine his sentence at a future date.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Minnesota State Patrol. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.

The federal government has primary law enforcement jurisdiction over the Red Lake Indian Reservation.