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Government to proceed in Cherokee murder case

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A federal magistrate judge on Tuesday found enough evidence for the case against a Cherokee man charged with killing a 22-year-old woman to proceed. James Ernest Lespier, 31, is charged with one count of murder in the death of Erien Amanda Smith. Lespier called 911 early on May 18 to report that Smith was dead at his home on Crowe Drive on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, according to federal documents.