(MIAMI) -- A member of a South Florida Indian tribe whose case raised questions of jurisdiction has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his young sons in what he says was an accidental drowning.
Kirk Douglas Billie admitted driving his girlfriend’s truck into a canal in the Everglades but said he was not aware that their young sons were sleeping in the back of the vehicle. The Miccosukee Indian tribe accepted his version and said that the tribe should have jurisdiction. Tribal leaders kept federal marshals from entering the reservation to subpoena witnesses.
At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Billie continued to insist on his innocence, saying that he believed the boys were staying with their grandmother. He was convicted of second-degree murder in February.