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News Release
White Swan Woman Pleads Guilty to Murder on the Yakama Nation - 06/12/24

Yakima, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Tahsheena Stacy Sam, 35, of White Swan, Washington, pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder in Indian Country for the murder of Destiny Lloyd, who was an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke accepted Sam’s guilty plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 17, 2024, in Yakima, Washington.

In the plea agreement accepted by the court, and in information disclosed during court proceedings, on December 25, 2017, the victim, Destiny Lloyd, who was 23 years old at the time, was socializing with a group of friends. The Defendant, whom Lloyd did not know, also joined the group.  

Later that evening, Sam, and others who were with her, decided to rob Ms. Lloyd. The group drove to an area near Harrah Road and Marion Drain Road on the Yakama Nation Indian Reservation.  There, money was forcibly taken from Lloyd, and Lloyd was then left on the side of the road.

After the assault, members of the group became concerned that Lloyd might report the incident. They then drove back to where they left her and used a flashlight to follow her tracks in the snow. Sam found Lloyd. She then obtained a large wrench from another member of the group and used the wrench to strike Lloyd several times on the head. Sam and the others left Lloyd’s body where it was discovered by a passing motorist a few days later. 

“My heart breaks for the victim and her family. Ms. Lloyd’s loss leaves a hole that cannot ever be filled,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “This case involved a lengthy investigation and witnesses that were not always forthcoming with law enforcement.  Yet, the FBI and Yakama Nation Tribal Police remained undeterred and continued investigating this case – following available leads, which ultimately led to Ms. Sam.  While federal law enforcement often is unable to disclose to the public each step in an investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s office, FBI, and Yakama Nation have remained committed to securing justice for victims of violent crime, including for Ms. Lloyd and her family. We work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to pursue those who cause harm in our community and to address the root causes leading to the crisis of murdered or missing Indigenous people.” 

“It is hard to comprehend the wanton violence of this case,” said Kelly M. Smith, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Seattle field office. “I am grateful that Ms. Sam has now taken responsibility for her role in Ms. Lloyd’s tragic death. Now the process of healing can begin for the loved ones of the victim. The FBI will continue working to ensure the safety of our state’s reservations.”

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Yakama Nation Tribal Police. It has been prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Swensen, Timothy J. Ohms, and Ian Garriques.

Charges remain pending for a co-defendant in this case. Those charges are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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