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Three people in jail for double homicide on Rosebud reservation

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News Mitchell,South Dakota 57301
The Daily Republic
Three people in jail for double homicide on Rosebud reservation
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE (AP) — Two brothers and a woman are jailed after being charged in the deaths of two men near St. Francis on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.


BillyRay McCloskey, 23, and Riley McCloskey, 20, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Pierre to two counts of second-degree murder. They’re accused of killing Benjamin Clifford, 76, and Calvin Kills In Water Jr., 33, in December.

Crystal Red Hawk, 36, pleaded not guilty to accessory for aiding the McCloskeys after the fact.

According to the indictment, the McCloskeys strangled Clifford and beat Kills In Water before stabbing him in the chest with a screwdriver. The men died on either Dec. 23 or Dec. 24, according to the indictment, but tribal police found their bodies in a field south of St. Francis early Dec. 31.

The full indictment was sealed. No motive was listed in court documents, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Beth Lone Eagle, Clifford’s niece, said the family reported Clifford missing on Christmas Eve. The former bus and ambulance driver who lived in White River was always helping people however he could, she said.

“We call it just being that old Lakota way,” said Lone Eagle, a retired teacher who lives in Bridger.

Clifford once gave Lone Eagle’s son a car, she said.

BillyRay McCloskey, who has also gone by Billy Ray Earl, pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon in 2010, according to court records. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison and was released last April. Riley McCloskey was indicted in November on charges of burglary, robbery and assault that took place in June at St. Francis. He pleaded not guilty.

Associated Press