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Judge ups murderer's sentence to 25 years

For murder and coverup of separate murder


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Curtis L. BrownA 39-year-old Warm Springs man, Curtis Lamont Brown, was sentenced April 3 to 25 years in prison for killing one man and helping cover up the murder of a woman.

The unrelated incidents occurred just a week apart, on Sept. 23 and Sept. 30, 2012, on the Warm Springs Reservation.

In the first case, Brown bought an SKS rifle from Jonas Miller and then went out with Miller to test fire the rifle.

In an interview with the FBI and the Warm Springs Police Department on Oct. 11, 2012, Brown said he had been intoxicated at the time and admitted killing Miller, according to Craig Gabriel, assistant U.S. attorney, who prosecuted the case.

In the second case, Brown agreed to help two women who had kidnapped, beaten, sexually abused and killed another woman dispose of the woman's body.

Brown admitted that he knew that Tana Lawrence and Angeledith Smith and another woman had killed Faron Kalama, 30, of Warm Springs, on Sept. 29, 2012, when they enlisted his help in cleaning the van used in the crimes and disposing of Kalama's body.

On Nov. 4, 2013, Brown pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the death of Miller, and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder for the death of Kalama.

Even though Brown's defense attorney and federal prosecutors jointly recommended a 20-year prison term, U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez listened to statements from family members and sentenced Brown to 25 years in prison, citing a lack of humanity on Brown's part.

"Fifteen family members spoke at the sentencing hearing to tell the judge how much they loved Jonas Miller and Faron Kalama," said Gabriel. "It was obvious from their statements that the pain from these murders continues to grieve the victims’ families and the Warm Springs community."

Angeledith Smith and Tana Lawrence are scheduled to be sentenced April 16, in the U.S. District Court in Portland before Judge Anna J. Brown, for first-degree murder.



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