Man accused of killing five-year-old foster child on Spirit Lake Reservation asks to withdraw guilty plea

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 2:08 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A 44-year-old man accused of killing his five-year-old foster child on the Spirit Lake Reservation in 2020 is requesting to withdraw his guilty plea.

Prosecutors say Erich Longie Jr.’s foster child, Raven Thompson, was found dead in the basement of a home Longie shared with his wife, 47-year-old Tammy Longie in May 2020. At the same time, another foster child in the home was found with injuries and treated at a hospital for more than a month. Erich and Tammy Longie were arrested, and eight children were removed from the home.

Erich and Tammy Longie both pleaded guilty to murder, child abuse, and child neglect in federal court in 2021. Erich Longie faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. Tammy Longie faces the possibility of life in prison.

This month, Erich Longie filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. He says he felt pressure by his attorney, who later withdrew from the case, to enter the plea agreement. He says he felt his attorney was “disgusted with him” because the charges he faced had to do with children. Longie says he immediately asked revoke his plea after it was entered, says he is innocent, and would like to face a jury.

A federal judge is considering his request.

Sentencing has been postponed for Tammy Longie.

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