Miccosukee man faces retrial for sons' deaths

A member of the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida will be retried for the deaths of his two young sons.

Kirk Billie drove an SUV carrying the boys into a canal. He has said he didn't know they were in the car.

A jury found Billie guilty of second-degree murder. But an appeals court threw out the conviction because information about Billie's violent past was allowed at the trial.

The incident took place off the reservation but state investigators tried to go on tribal lands to interview witnesses and seek evidence. The tribe refused to allow state law enforcement onto the reservation.

The tribe has since agreed to cooperate with state law enforcement, a concession that could help the tribe win passage of a bill to retrocede state jurisdiction on tribal lands. Florida is a Public Law 280 state.

Get the Story:
Man faces retrial in SUV drowning of two sons in Everglades (AP 9/4)

Court Decision:
Billie v. State (July 30, 2003)

Related Stories:
Miccosukee Tribe to cooperate with state police (08/12)
Miccosukee man's murder hearing closed to public (04/21)
Lawyer for accused Miccosukee man disqualified (03/23)
Fla. court overturns conviction of Indian man (7/31)
Billie given two life sentences (4/20)
Billie plans appeal of murder conviction (2/23)
Fla. murder trial winds up (2/22)
Mother testifies about death of sons (2/8)
Murder trial begins in Florida (2/7)
Feds dispute tribe's brand of justice (10/16)
Miccosukee tribe tries to protect sovereignty (9/26)