BILLINGS - In federal court Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, a 33-year-old Lame Deer man is charged with the August slaying of his 6-year-old daughter.
With no sign of emotion, Adrian Good Bear pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in the death of his daughter, Lyrik Good Bear. Court documents indicate investigators believe the fatal injuries were inflicted August 28th. The little girl died two days later in a Denver hospital, just weeks away from beginning the first grade at Lame Deer Elementary.
Federal Bureau of Investigations Billings Supervisor, Eric Barnhart says he could not comment on how the child's death affected the community but said, "The full weight of the crime will be revealed in trial." Barnhart says no resources were spared in the investigation of the child's death.
Mr. Good Bear is also charged with assault leading to the serious injury of another little girl on the same day. Authorities declined to comment on the relationship of the unnamed victim to the suspect. U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana, Bill Mercer is overseeing the case which he calls "tragic."
No relatives were in the courtroom at the James F. Battin Building in downtown Billings to offer perspective on the alleged crimes. Mercer would not comment on how the little girl died, only to say her life was taken too soon. "This is a death of a child and you have her father as the defendant. Anytime you have a homicide it is this office's highest priority."
Lyrik Good Bear's mother was killed earlier this spring in an April car wreck. And now her father could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted in her death.
Barnhart says his office oversees a wide swath of Eastern Montana and says though he'd like to say similar cases are rare, he cannot. "Unfortunately, we do see quite a bit of these cases."
Adrian Good Bear is in custody at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility. Prosecutors say the law does not provide for the death penalty in this case.