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Testimony begins in retrial of Miccoukee man

Testimony began on Tuesday in the retrial of a Miccosukee man accusing of murdering his two young sons.

Prosecutors read the transcript from the first trial, in which Kirk Billie was found guilty of second-degree murder. But the jury can't hear about Billie's criminal past, an appeals court ruled.

Billie admits driving an SUV carrying his sons, ages 3 and 5, into a canal. But he says he was unaware they were sleeping in the back seat of the car.

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:
Retrial begins in drowning of 2 children (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 1/19)

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

Related Stories:
Miccosukee man back in court for death of sons (1/14)
Miccosukee man on trial again for murder of sons (1/13)
Miccosukee man faces retrial for sons' deaths (09/06)
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)