Services for Brian Garrett, 1965-2018, took place at the Little Wound School Gym in Kyle, South Dakota, on February 18, 2018. Photo: Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Corrections

Oglala Sioux woman headed to trial for allegedly murdering her husband

A citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe is scheduled to go to trial in April for allegedly murdering her husband on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Tiffany Janis has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of discharge of a firearm, according to a redacted indictment. Federal authorities say she shot and killed her husband, Brian Gerard Garrett, 52, who was a tribal police officer and had been on the force for more than a decade.

According to a sworn statement filed in federal court, Janis called tribal police in the early morning hours of February 10 and admitted that she shot Garrett. She said the incident arose out of a dispute involving her, her husband and her cousin.

Janis told agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs that she had been kicked out of their home by Garrett, according to the statement. She got in her truck and was apparently prepared to leave but instead retrieved a gun from the vehicle and returned to the house.

After entering through a back door, she said she saw her husband and her cousin having sex, according to the statement, which was submitted by an FBI agent. That's when she allegedly shot Garrett.

"Tiffany told agents that Garrett 'roughed her up' by 'squeezing' her arms," agent Matt Weber said in the statement. "Tiffany then retrieved her gun from her coat pocket and shot Garrett once in the chest."

Garrett was airlifted to the Kyle Health Center, an Indian Health Service facility on the reservation, following the shooting. He was pronounced dead there, according to the tribe's Department of Public Safety.

He was laid to rest at his Lakota family's cemetery Kyle on February 19, according to his obituary. Flags were flown at half-staff on the day of his funeral.

"This time of reflection should serve as a reminder to all of us that when the unthinkable happens, it can have a profound effect on the officers, co-workers, as well as their families and friends forever," President Troy S. Weston said in a news release

Garrett had worked as a tribal officer for more than 10 years, the tribe's department said in a post on Facebook. His body was brought from the funeral home by police escort on February 18.

Janis has been in custody, first by tribal authorities and then later by the U.S. Marshals Service, ever since the shooting. She made her initial appearance in court on February 14 after a criminal complaint had been filed against her two days prior. The FBI agent's sworn statement was submitted alongside the complaint at that time.

A sealed indictment was filed last Wednesday and a redacted version, the one outlining the charges against her, was made available by the court that same day. Janis entered a plea of not guilty to both charges on Friday after waiving her right to appear in person.

Janis is now scheduled to go to trial on April 24, according to court records. She is being represented by a federal public defender.

Join the Conversation