Life Term Issued In 2016 Pine Ridge Murder


    The last of the 4 men convicted in a drug-related murder on the Pine Ridge Reservation nearly 4-½ years ago has been life in prison.

      32-year old Adan Corona had been found guilty on 5 counts, including felony murder and premeditated 1st-degree murder, for fatally shooting and killing Vinny Brewer outside the Boys and Girls Club in Pine Ridge in Oct 2016. 

     The defense plans to appeal the mandatory life sentence as cruel and unusual punishment, but Brewer’s father called Corona “a killer with no conscience” who put his son in the ground with 17 bullets in him.

      Prosecutors say Corona, Francisco Villanueva, and Estevan Baquera tracked Brewer through social media, then drove from Denver to Pine Ridge to collect a drug debt. They tried to kidnap Brewer outside a basketball tournament and Corona shot him when he broke away and tried to flee.

        Baquera pled guilty to accessory to 1st-degree murder and was given 15 years while Villanueva was tried with Corona in September and convicted on the same charges. He was given back-to-back life terms in November. 28-year old Miles Tuttle pled guilty as an accessor and received 9 years for helping the trio flee the reservation.

      At Corona’s sentencing, Lisa High Wolf – Brewer’s mother – said Corona showed no remorse and wouldn’t apologize to her even though they’re both part Lakota and come from the same blood.” High Wolf said the life sentence brings the family closure as they try to move forward with their lives, but Corona will be in prison while her son is dead.

       In handing down the sentence, federal Judge Jeffrey Viken said the setting of the killing – a parking lot outside a basketball tournament – made for a horrific event, adding that he’d never seen this kind of a crime in all his years as a judge until now.