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Red Lake man sentenced for teen’s shooting death

ST. PAUL -- A Red Lake man who shot and killed a 17-year-old boy in a dispute over a Playstation was sentenced to 19 years and eight months in federal prison Tuesday.

Joshua HillJoshua Francis Hill pleaded guilty in January to one count of second-degree murder in the teen’s June 24 shooting death.

According to a criminal complaint, the boy's body was found by the Red Lake Police Department in an abandoned trailer near a home in Red Lake. Officers found the victim's body on the ground under a wooden porch and saw blood on his clothing. The boy was unresponsive and cold to the touch, the complaint says.

Officers interviewed the victim's legal guardian, who said the boy had left the home on the afternoon of June 24. The guardian said the victim would often use their neighbor's Wi-Fi from the abandoned trailer.

About 30 minutes after the boy left the home, the guardian heard a gunshot. The guardian said the victim had been "feuding" with Hill about a stolen PlayStation.

The complaint states that, on June 27, law enforcement interviewed the owner of the PlayStation, Dariun Cadwell. Cadwell allegedly told officers the victim had stolen the gaming console and gave it to Hill; Hill then sold it.

"Dariun stated that Joshua (Hill) was mad at (the victim) for 'snitching' on him and told (the victim) he was going to 'smoke him,'" the complaint said.

When interviewed by police, Hill, whose age was listed as 20 in July, allegedly said he had been in a disagreement with the victim, but had only wanted to "punch him up."

A witness, who was not identified in the criminal complaint, said that they had been driven to Red Lake on June 24, along with Hill. On the way to the home of one of Hill's relatives, located about 340 feet from where the victim's body was found, Hill stopped at another home and grabbed an item, which was identified by the witness as a rifle wrapped in a sheet.

While inside Hill's relative's home, the witness heard a gunshot, the complaint said. Hill then allegedly arrived back at the nearby home. He then left the scene.

Later, the complaint said, Hill told the witness he had shot and killed the victim. Three days later, Hill asked the witness to dispose of the rifle, which police later recovered.

The Red Lake Tribal Police Department and the FBI’s Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force investigated the killing. The case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Clifford Wardlaw.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at jgandsey@bemidjipioneer.com. 

(218) 333-9786
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