A native woman named Maddesyn George, who was 27 years old, was found gu*ilty of k*illing her rap*ist just two days before Kyle Rittenhouse was found not g*uilty of mu*rder on the grounds of self-defense. Graber attacked George the day after the first rape, but prosecutors wouldn’t let her say she was acting in self-defense when she k*illed George. George, who is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, told the Tribal Court that he shot Kristopher Graber in July 2020.
Major Crimes Act
The shooting happened on a reservation and was covered by the Major Crimes Act, which means that the federal government can prosecute certain major crimes committed by Native people on Native land. George was charged at the federal level.
George and Graber had known each other for a long time. There was one night when she and Graber were at his house scratching lottery tickets when he raped her with a vibrator out of the blue. When she spoke out against it, he pulled out a gun.
Graber Confronts George
After some time, Graber passed out. George stole his gun, drugs, and cash while he was sleeping and then left the house. Graber went to the Colville Reservation to look for George. He grabbed the girl and started hitting her as soon as he found her. Graber was ki*lled when George fired the gun through the car window.
George told the tribal detective soon after the shooting, “I was freaking out because I thought, ‘Oh damn, the window’s open this much. He’s going to fucking get me.'” “Then I picked up the gun.”
Even though George told police in great detail about a sexual assault, they did not give him a rape kit. The woman was also jailed and questioned without a lawyer present. Police even told her family they didn’t think the girl had been raped, her family says.
Prosecutors Block Self-Defense
Federal prosecutors asked the court to stop George from using self-defense as an excuse because they said she was the “initial aggressor,” which means the shooting would not be legal under self-defense laws.
According to Model Penal Code § 3.04(1), self-defense is “justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on this occasion.”
To say they were acting in self-defense, a defendant has to show four things. The first thing they have to do is show that there was a fight with an unprovoked attack. Next, the defendant has to show that they would have been hurt or k*illed soon if they hadn’t used deadly force. Third, the person accused must show that the amount of force they used in self-defense was reasonable given the situation. Fourth and last, the defendant has to show that he or she had a good reason to fear being hurt or k*illed if deadly force wasn’t used.
Maddesyn’s mother, Jody George, told Emerald magazine that Graber had hit her oldest daughter and stolen things from the family in the past.
George Accepts Plea Deal
George’s history with drugs was used against her in court. George took a plea deal for drug possession and voluntary manslaughter. He could have spent up to 45 years in prison, most of that time for having methamphetamines on his person. Six and a half years in federal prison were given to her by US District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson. It’s a longer sentence range than usual, but it’s a lot lighter than the 17-year sentence lawyers wanted.