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Sutherland Sentenced To 21 Years In Prison For Murdering Rocky Boy Woman

Gavin Tyrone Sutherland received 256 months in prison and 10 years probation for murdering Shannon Dora Licht on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.

Sutherland, born in 1984, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in May. On Thursday, he was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris.

Gavin Sutherland, Montana Department of Corrections photo

Sutherland choked Licht to death in July 2018.

He told investigators he heard voices that said if he killed Licht, the noise would quiet.

In October 15, Sutherland had asked to be mentally evaluated.

Dr. Cynthia Low, a psychologist in Seattle, conducted the evaluation and concluded that Sutherland “demonstrated an average ability to understand the nature and consequences of the court proceedings against him, and an average ability to properly assist counsel in his defense.”

Sutherland did not oppose Dr. Low’s conclusion and asked that the scheduled competency hearing be vacated. 

Sutherland told investigators he felt remorse for what he’d done.

“I’ll never feel better about killing my sister. … I’ll never forgive myself for what I did,” he told investigators, according to court documents.


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Email Paul Dragu at (406) 262-7778
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