In her first admission of guilt, Elizabeth LeBeau said her boyfriend strangled Emily Bluebird while she held down the woman’s hands. In her new statement, LeBeau doesn't go into much detail, merely saying she and Fred Quiver strangled the woman together.
LeBeau, 25, signed a new plea agreement with federal prosecutors on Friday, three months after a judge invalidated her and Quiver’s guilty pleas in Bluebird’s murder on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation last year.
At a plea-change hearing that has yet to be scheduled, LeBeau would plead guilty to second-degree murder and accessory to second-degree murder, according to the agreement.
In an accompanying statement of facts, LeBeau said she killed 24-year-old Bluebird “by acting together with Fred Quiver … to bring about Emily Bluebird’s death by strangulation.”
LeBeau said also that she struck Bluebird “in the head with a hammer multiple times.”
Afterward, LeBeau said, she assisted Quiver by destroying and disposing of evidence. The document was just over a page long; her initial statement ran four pages.
They signed statements pointing to each other for strangling Bluebird with an electronics cord after the other person allegedly got into an argument with Bluebird. LeBeau and Quiver, who were then living together at Quiver’s home on Pine Ridge, said they had been drinking with Bluebird when the killing occurred.
Bluebird’s body was found near a creek on the reservation a few weeks later.
In July, their guilty pleas were nullified by Chief Judge Jeffrey Viken, of the U.S. District Court of South Dakota. The fact that the conflicting statements were affirmed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office called into question the facts that served as the bases for the pleas, the court said.
It’s not clear if Quiver will also enter into a new plea agreement, or if he will go to trial. His lawyer didn’t return messages seeking comment on Monday.
Under LeBeau’s plea deal, prosecutors said they would recommend that she serve the sentences for her two offenses at the same time. She faces up to life in prison for murder and up to 15 years for accessory to murder. She and Quiver are both detained at the Pennington County Jail.