Arapahoe man changes plea in sister’s death

Riverton, Wyoming (AP) January 2011

The brother of a 13-year-old Ethete girl found dead on the Wind River Indian Reservation last April has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Robert Spoonhunter, of Arapahoe, was originally charged with second-degree murder.

Court documents say he entered a plea agreement with prosecutors last week in U.S. District Court.

Sentencing is set for March 14 in Cheyenne.

The Ranger newspaper in Riverton reports that voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum prison term of 15 years, compared to life in prison for second-degree murder.

Eight-grader Marisa Spoonhunter was found dead April 7 near Ethete.

Prosecutors say Robert Spoonhunter choked his sister and threw her against a weight bench after he found his step-cousin having physical contact with the girl.