- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A South Dakota woman was sentenced Thursday to 22 years in federal prison for the 2013 murder of a woman on Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters sentenced Eugenia Ann Rowland, of Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Rowland had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year - just days before her case was to go to trial - in the death of Hanna Harris, of Lame Deer.

Rowland’s common-law husband, Garrett Wadda, faces sentencing April 1 after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact for moving Harris’ body.

Authorities said Rowland, 42, and Wadda, 36, had been drinking with Harris on July 3-4, 2013. There was a fight, and Rowland said she and Wadda beat Harris.

Harris’ son was 10 months old when she died. The cause of Harris’ death couldn’t be determined because the 21-year-old’s body was badly decomposed when it was found four days later near the Lame Deer rodeo grounds.

But Rowland’s sister-in-law, Joy Means, told investigators that Rowland had described the killing to her while staying at a flop house in Rapid City, South Dakota, in January 2014, according to documents filed by prosecutors.

Rowland told Means that after the victim and defendants had been drinking in an abandoned trailer, Rowland passed out. She woke up to yelling and screaming and found Wadda in another room raping Harris, according to Means’ account to investigators.

Rowland said she tried to help Harris but Harris hit her, making Rowland mad. Wadda and Rowland then beat Harris until she was unconscious, wrapped her body in a sheet and dragged the body outside, Means said she was told.

The defendants were arrested in March 2014.

Authorities said Rowland had a history of alcohol-related offenses but no other significant criminal record. Her defense attorney, Robert Kelleher Jr., said she had a lengthy history of physical and sexual abuse, and had been abused and mistreated by Wadda.

Kelleher had requested a 15-year prison term for his client.

Wadda was initially charged with murder and aggravated sexual abuse. Those counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement in which Wadda agreed to testify against Rowland.

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