U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Iowa
(319) 363-6333
January 28, 2015

Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder on the Meskwaki Nation Settlement

A man who used a knife to kill another man on the Meskwaki Nation Settlement pled guilty today in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Jonathan Youngbear, 21, from the Meskwaki Nation Settlement, Iowa, was convicted of one count of second degree murder in “Indian Country.”

In a plea agreement, Youngbear admitted that he stabbed Severn Jefferson twice in the neck and chest with a knife. Youngbear further admitted that the victim bled to death as a result of the stab wounds. At the time he stabbed the victim, Youngbear was under the influence of alcohol and also had methamphetamine in his system.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Youngbear remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Youngbear faces a possible maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and five years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tony Morfitt and Pete Deegan and was investigated by the Meskwaki Nation Tribal Police Department, the Tama County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is 14-CR-00046.

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