A man pleaded guilty to the slaying of a Native American father just days before his trial was slated to begin on June 5, according to reports. Kirk L. Bigby, 63, pleaded guilty to second-degree unintentional murder of Marcus L. Roberts, a father of five.
On December 9, 2015, Roberts was working with a rental company providing entertainment for an annual Christmas party at the Bluefin Bay Resort in the town of Tofte, Minnesota, when he and Bigby “came into physical contact,” the Sheriffs Office said, according to The Star Tribune. Bigby then shot and killed Roberts with a handgun just after midnight outside of the resort. Bigby said Roberts was the initial aggressor in the altercation and that he acted in self-defense, though he added “intoxication is not a defense.”
Bigby had a government-issued permit to carry a firearm, The Star Tribune reported. Bigby could face up to 12 ½ years, but with time served he faces a little more than seven years in jail.
Roberts attended Minneapolis South and Redwood Valley High School, according to the Star Tribune, and was the older brother of celebrated Native hip-hop artist Tall Paul. A GoFundMe account titled, “We Love You Marcus,” has been launched to help support Roberts’ children. “All funds raised for Marcus' kids will be used to cover the costs of their daily needs, such as food, clothing, bills and all of the things that a loving father like Marcus would provide for his children,” the page reads. To date, more than $3,450 has been raised.
Roberts’ mother is from the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and his father is from Lower Sioux in Minnesota, Jessica Jensen, mother of two of Roberts’ children, told Indian Country Media Network in an email.
Bigby is slated to be sentenced on August 9.