A man has signed a new plea deal indicating he would admit having taken part in the killing of a Pine Ridge woman last year. His initial guilty plea had been invalidated by the court after prosecutors affirmed conflicting statements regarding who strangled the victim.

Fred Quiver, 31, is set to plead guilty Jan. 10 to accessory to second-degree murder in the killing of Emily Bluebird, according to federal court records. The crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Quiver, of Pine Ridge, would plead to the same offense he pleaded guilty to in March. But his new statement of facts on the murder doesn’t say who killed 24-year-old Bluebird, only that it happened at Quiver’s home while she was drinking with him and his live-in girlfriend, Elizabeth LeBeau, Jan. 2 last year.

“At some point that evening or early the next morning, while only the three were present, Emily was unlawfully murdered primarily by strangulation,” according to a two-page statement signed last week by Quiver, his lawyer and the U.S. Attorney's Office. In his previous statement, also affirmed by federal prosecutors, Quiver said LeBeau strangled Bluebird with a cord after the women got into an argument.

On both documents, Quiver admitted destroying evidence to prevent LeBeau from getting caught. This included pouring bleach over Bluebird’s body to destroy DNA evidence, hiding the body underneath his home, as well as burning shoes and clothes that belonged to the three of them. 

Bluebird’s body was found Jan. 21, 2016, near a creek on the reservation. A week later, the couple was charged: LeBeau with first-degree murder and Quiver with accessory to first-degree murder.

The victim's family said Bluebird and Quiver had been neighbors and grew up together.

In November, LeBeau pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and accessory to second-degree murder in accordance with a new plea deal with federal prosecutors. Her accompanying written statement also didn’t go into much detail — unlike her previous one — merely saying she and Quiver strangled Bluebird together. She originally said Quiver strangled Bluebird with an electronics cord following an argument.

LeBeau, 25, is scheduled for sentencing March 21 at the federal courthouse in Rapid City, where she faces up to life for murder and up to 15 years for being an accessory. Prosecutors said they would recommend that LeaBeau serve her two sentences at the same time.

She and Quiver are both detained at the Pennington County Jail.

Contact Tiffany Tan at tiffany.tan@rapidcityjournal.com.