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Murder Conviction Opposed by Tribe

Nation IN BRIEF / FLORIDA

February 23, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

An American Indian was convicted of second-degree murder for drowning his two sons. It was a case tribal leaders said never should have gone to state court because of sovereignty concerns and because he had been forgiven.

Kirk Douglas Billie, 32, admitted driving a sport-utility vehicle containing his sons into the canal off the Miccosukee reservation in 1997. He said he did not know that the boys, Keith, 3, and Kurt, 5, were in the back seat.

After the verdict was read, Billie shrugged and smiled. Defense attorney Ed O'Donnell later said Billie was "elated."

Billie was charged with first-degree murder, but the jury was allowed to consider lesser charges.

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