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Two women get life sentences

For brutal 2012 murder


by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS - Angeledith Smith and Tana LawrenceThe defendants in a brutal 2012 kidnapping and murder of a Warm Springs woman were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on April 16, in the U.S. District Court in Portland.

Angeledith Smith, 26, and Tana Lawrence, 21, both of Warm Springs, entered guilty pleas to first-degree murder and were sentenced to "true life sentences," according to Craig Gabriel, assistant U.S. attorney, who prosecuted the case.

Gabriel said that under the plea agreements, the negotiated sentences for the crimes were up to 35 years in prison, but because of the violence and the trauma suffered by the victim, Faron Kalama, 30, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown opted to increase the women's sentences to life in prison.

"Parole was abolished in the federal system over 25 years ago, so these are true life sentences," said Gabriel.

The murder occurred on Sept. 29, 2012, when Smith and Lawrence, who were upset that Kalama "had allegedly been having an affair with (Smith's) husband as well as Ms. Lawrence's boyfriend," went to Kalama's house in the Elliott Heights neighborhood of Warm Springs, accompanied by Smith's 12- and 16-year-old sisters.

After breaking into Kalama's house, they assaulted her with metal wire strippers and a wrench, and shot her at close range with a paintball gun. The group left, but returned two more times -- the last time without the youngest sister, but with a 13-year-old girl -- and the women continued the brutal assault on Kalama, with the tools and a beer bottle.

The third time they broke in, they forced Kalama into Smith's van. When Kalama tried to escape, they restrained her and continued assaulting her on the way to Smith's residence in a remote area of the Warm Springs Reservation.

At Smith's house, Kalama was sexually assaulted and abused further before being loaded back into the van, where she lost consciousness and eventually died. In a field near a residential neighborhood, they dumped her naked body in a grove of juniper trees, Gabriel wrote in the sentencing report.

The following day, Smith and Lawrence asked Curtis Brown, of Warm Springs, to help them move the body to a more remote area. On April 3, Brown was sentenced to 25 years for his part in the cover-up, in addition to the Sept. 23, 2012, murder of Jonas Miller.

Smith had also recruited an 18-year-old co-defendant, Christopher Taylor Arthur, to help move the body.

About five days later, police found Kalama's body. Her right eye was missing and the right side of her face and eye socket had caved in from the beatings, Gabriel wrote. The autopsy showed that she had died from blunt force head trauma.

Because Smith and Lawrence used minors in committing the crimes, and because of "the terrorizing nature" of their conduct toward Kalama, Gabriel had asked for "a very long prison sentence."

"The gruesome pain and frightening violence that the defendant and Ms. Lawrence inflicted on Ms. Kalama is almost unfathomable," Gabriel wrote. "The circumstances of this case are aggravating and egregious, even for a charge of murder in the first degree."

On Monday, Gabriel said that family members were present for the sentencing. "This case was a tragedy for everybody involved, but especially for Faron Kalama and her family," he said.



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