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Ute woman appears in court on charges of murder on reservation

Posted at 3:13 PM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-06 17:27:33-05

SALT LAKE CITY – A member of the Ute tribe appeared in federal court Tuesday after authorities say she killed a woman while on a reservation near Whiterocks, Utah.

Zondee Nephi, 30, was indicted and charged on Jan. 31 with Second-Degree Murder While in Indian Country and Use and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence.

On Aug. 23, 2017, the body of 20-year-old Sukakee Manyhides was found on a road northwest of Whiterocks, Utah.

The Duchesne County Sheriff, the Federal Beaurau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) investigated the incident as a homicide because the body had been found under “suspicious circumstances.”

According to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court, Nephi is an enrolled member of the Ute Indian Tribe and “while within Indian Country, did unlawfully kill [the victim] with malice aforethought.”

Nephi was booked into the Duchesne County Jail.

If convicted, she could face life in prison for the murder charge and a concurrent minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for discharging a firearm during a violent crime.