By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily
Federal authorities are moving to dismiss the case against a Montana man convicted of killing his former girlfriend — because he died in a Wyoming jail while awaiting sentencing.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Billings, Montana, announced it would seek dismissal of the murder case against Taylor Leigh Plain Bull, 27, because he died in the Big Horn County, Wyoming, Detention Center in Basin.
Plain Bull pleaded guilty in March to second-degree murder in the October shooting death of his former girlfriend on the Crow Indian Reservation near Billings.
He was being held in the Big Horn County facility pending a July sentencing hearing.
In a press release issued early Tuesday evening, Big Horn County Sheriff Kenneth Blackburn said Plain Bull was found unresponsive in his cell, and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
“Foul play is not suspected,” Blackburn said. “However, investigators with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) were immediately contacted to conduct an independent investigation of the death.”
Plain Bull was identified as a transient who had previously lived in Pryor, Montana. He pleaded guilty to forcing a vehicle driven by his ex-girlfriend off of the highway and shooting her several times, also wounding a mail companion, before taking the woman’s child.
Plain Bull had been facing a maximum sentence life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.