Feb. 11, 1989: Glaze found guilty of murder

  • Article by: MARGARET ZACK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 10, 1989 - 4:17 PM

He'll serve 50 years in slayings of Indian women.

Billy Glaze, who a prosecutor said had a "fury in his gut" against American Indian women, was found guilty Friday of killing three Indian women while sexually assaulting them in Minneapolis in 1986 and 1987.

The Hennepin County District Court jury also found Glaze guilty of three counts of second-degree murder for intentionally killing the women without premeditation.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for 35 1/2 hours over four days.

After the verdict was read, Judge Jonathan Lebedoff asked Glaze if he had anything to say before he was sentenced.

Glaze replied, "I'm not the serial killer." He said the witnesses were liars. "I ain't never worn no bandana or went in bars and said that about Indian women," Glaze said. "But do what you have to do."

Lebedoff then sentenced the 45-year-old drifter to three consecutive life sentences. Glaze will have to serve at least 50 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

"Nothing can be gained by dwelling upon the horrors we've been privy to in the last week, and they can't be undone," Lebedoff said. "The families of the deceased will have to deal with their private
pain. There is nothing I can do about that, but I can recommend you be sent to an institution for the rest of your natural life."

Following the verdict, Hazel Whitebird, mother of Angeline Whitebird-Sweet, Glaze's second victim, said to reporters, "I think this time has been real hard. It'll be two years April (since her daughter was killed), and I think the last two weeks was like two years." She testified and was in court throughout the trial.

"I'll never be totally relieved," she said. "You lose a daughter, you lose a part of yourself."

Prosecutors Pete Connors and Judith Hawley said they were surprised that Glaze was not convicted of having planned the murders. "The thing we wanted most was for him to spend the rest of his life in prison, never to get out, and that's what we accomplished," Hawley said. "No other woman is going to die because of Billy Glaze being free."

Glaze's attorney Michael Colich said jurors apparently felt Glaze was responsible for the murders, but without premeditation.

The jurors refused to discuss their verdict with reporters.

Colich said that the three first-degree murder convictions for causing death during a sex assault appeared inconsistent. In two of the three murders, the victims might have been dead before they were assaulted, he said. First-degree murder convictions are automatically appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Colich asked Lebedoff to send Glaze to Oak Park Heights rather than Stillwater, saying that Stillwater would be a death penalty for Glaze because of threats made against him.

Glaze has been held in Hennepin County Jail in lieu of $2 million bond since he was indicted in June 1988 for the deaths of Kathleen Bullman, Angeline Whitebird-Sweet and Angela Green.

The body of Bullman, 19, who had recently moved to Minneapolis from South Dakota, was found July 27, 1986, near Holden and 10th Sts., in a debris-strewn area frequented by transients. She died of strangulation, and a 3-foot steel pipe used in the assault was lying across her neck.

Angeline Whitebird-Sweet, 26, who had been in Minneapolis about six weeks, was found in an open field near the American Indian Center on E. Franklin Av., April 12, 1987. A wooden lath was found by her body, but police said they did not think it was the murder weapon.

The last victim was Angela Green, 21, who was found under a railroad bridge at Park Av. and 29th St. Her skull had been crushed with a rock. Her clothing was found about a block away.

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