Woman Gets 10 years for Running Over, Killing Husband

Vernelle Badbear, of Garryowen, was sentenced Thursday for the November 2016 death of 38-year-old Freman Bends, of Benteen

By Justin Franz

BILLINGS — A woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for running over her husband with her minivan on Montana’s Crow Indian Reservation has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

The Billings Gazette reports 36-year-old Vernelle Badbear, of Garryowen, was sentenced Thursday for the November 2016 death of 38-year-old Freman Bends, of Benteen.

Prosecutors say she drove over Bends because she was angry with him for drinking when he was supposed to be watching the children. Bends left the house near Wyola and began walking down a road before Badbear followed him with her van.

A highway worker found his body eight days later.

The defense argued Bends had physically abused Badbear for years, and the judge described the woman as “at the end of her rope.”

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