PORTLAND, OR—Tana Chris Lawrence, 20, and Angeledith Saramaylene Smith, 25, both of Warm Springs, were arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart in Portland on the charge of murder in the first degree. Earlier this week, a federal grand jury indicted both women with one count of murder in the first degree for their alleged roles in the death of Faron Kalama, 30. The indictment alleges that Lawrence and Smith unlawfully killed Kalama on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation on September 29, 2012. The indictment further alleges that the murder occurred during Lawrence and Smith’s perpetration of, or attempted, burglary, kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse, and sexual abuse. The charge of murder in the first degree carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Curtis Lamont Brown, 38, of Warm Springs, was also arraigned today before Judge Stewart on one count of accessory after the fact to murder in the first degree for his alleged role in attempting to assist Lawrence and Smith avoid apprehension and punishment following the murder of Faron Kalama. The charge of accessory after the fact to murder in the first degree carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
All three defendants are enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, as was Ms. Kalama. In today’s proceedings, the magistrate ordered the three defendants detained in federal custody pending trial before U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown on December 18, 2012, at 9:00 a.m.
In a separate case, Curtis Lamont Brown made another initial appearance today before Judge Stewart on charges of murder in the second degree and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in connection to the death of Jonas Miller, 33. According to a federal criminal complaint signed by Judge Stewart earlier today, Brown confessed to shooting Miller in the back of the head with a firearm on September 23, 2012, in a remote location on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Miller was also an enrolled Warm Springs tribal member. The charges of murder in the second degree and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence both carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. Judge Stewart also ordered Brown detained on these charge pending his next court appearance on October 29, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. before the U.S. Magistrate Judge.
“These homicides are a deep tragedy for the victims’ families and for the entire Warm Springs community,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “My office, together with tribal and federal law enforcement, will devote the necessary resources to bring these defendants to justice.”
The investigations related to the deaths of Faron Kalama and Jonas Miller are being conducted by the Warm Springs Police Department and the Bend FBI Office. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Billy Williams and Craig Gabriel.
Indictments and criminal complaints are only accusations of crimes. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.