Tammy Longie aka Tammy Onebear, Spirit Lake North Dakota woman sentenced to life in prison for murder of foster child, abuse of others.
A North Dakota woman has been sentenced to life in prison for abuse leading to death of her 5-year-old foster daughter’s death in a case a prosecutor called ‘tragic and horrifying.’
Tammy Jean Longie, 48, also known as Tammy Onebear, in January pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder, child abuse and neglect stemming from the May 2020 death of her foster child, Raven Thompson.
The child’s body was found lying on a concrete floor in the basement of Longie’s home on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation on Tokio.
An autopsy determined that Raven had died of injuries suffered during ‘multiple episodes of trauma.’
The victim’s 7-year-old brother, Zane Thompson, had to be hospitalized for a month due to neglect, abuse and starvation.
‘Child endured some of the worst abuse in humanity’ – Prosecutors
A doctor said the bruising on the boy’s body was consistent with abuse, but the primary concern was heart failure due to malnutrition.
Tammy Longie’s sentencing departed from federal guidelines that suggested she should serve between 210 and 262 months. Prosecutors argued for 360 months to life in prison since the defendant’s conduct was extreme. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also noted guidelines did not account for the physical and psychological injuries to the children.
During the foster mother’s sentencing hearing, Acting US Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl said the abuse endured by Raven and her older brother ‘represented some of the worst of humanity,’ according to Inforum.com.
Tammy initially denied being abusive towards the children, telling investigators that ‘she would only hit the children open-handed on the butt, put them in time-out, or make (them) go to bed early,’ according to court documents cited by Law & Crime.
Longie’s husband, Erich Longie, 45, was also charged and convicted in the case and received the same life sentence in June, KFGO reported.
The foster children were placed in the couple’s home by Spirit Lake Tribal Social Services nearly a year before Raven’s death.
The Longies’ two biological children also were abused, according to investigators.
A total of seven children, ranging in age from 11 months to 12 years old, were removed from the household by federal authorities after the Longie couple’s arrest.