Littlewolf pleads guilty to manslaughter in Viking, Minn., man's death, claims he was sexually assaulted
WARREN, Minn.-A Devils Lake man accused in the stabbing death of a Viking, Minn., man pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Tuesday morning at an emotional hearing during which he testified he had been sexually assaulted.
Ray Erick Littlewolf Jr., 25, entered into a plea agreement in which he admitted to stabbing 64-year-old Ronald Dale Foss to death at his Viking home in mid-March.
Littlewolf testified Tuesday he was homeless after having relocated to Grand Forks when he met Foss, who offered him a place to stay the night on March 14.
Foss drove him to his home in rural Viking, where the two drank liquor and traded stories, Littlewolf said.
Through tears, Littlewolf told the court how he awoke later to Foss allegedly sexually assaulting him.
Littlewolf tried to leave the house and a struggle followed, Littlewolf said.
At one point, Foss fell to the ground, and Littlewolf took a knife and stabbed him in his back shoulder and neck.
Kip Fontaine, Littlewolf's attorney, said they had discussed self defense and intoxication as possible defenses, but decided neither was adequate.
Littlewolf had not been so intoxicated that he did not know what he was doing, Fontaine said.
Then there were too many details in Littlewolf's case that could count against him if he claimed self defense, Fontaine said, pointing to how Littlewolf had stabbed Foss from behind.
Littlewolf also had tried to mask what had happened by trying to set fire to Foss' home and by stealing Foss' pickup and setting it on fire, Fontaine said.
Foss' body was discovered by his co-workers at DigiKey in Thief River Falls when they went to check on him after he missed work two days in a row.
Marshall County Attorney Donald Aandal, who is prosecuting the case, said he had spoken with Foss' sons, who expressed they did not have any qualms with the plea deal.
Littlewolf's sentencing is scheduled for June 16.
In Minnesota, first-degree manslaughter carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. Littlewolf also pleaded guilty to one amended count of theft of a motor vehicle, a felony. That offense carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.