NewsCrime and Courts


Man sentenced for killing Box Elder woman

Posted at 8:08 AM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 10:43:52-04

Gavin Tyrone Sutherland. who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the 2018 death of Shannon Dora Licht, was sentenced in federal court in Great Falls on Thursday.

Sutherland was sentenced to 256 months (21.3 years) in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $3,500 in restitution.

(MAY 7, 2019) A man from the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has entered a new plea in the 2018 death of Shannon Dora Licht. Gavin Sutherland pleaded guilty to one count of second degree murder Tuesday.

Court documents state that on July 6, 2018, the victim was home in Box Elder with friends when Sutherland arrived. Around midnight, Licht became upset because she thought someone had stolen money from her and called Sutherland into a bedroom. Other people in the home heard her scream before they left. Around 1 a.m. on July 7, the victim’s son found her dead after he returned home from a trip.

On July 8, an autopsy was conducted and the medical examiner concluded Licht died due to strangulation. In court, Sutherland said he went to Licht’s home that night to get some rest. The 34-year-old admitted to strangling Licht to death in the early morning hours of July 7. He stated he did not know why he hurt her.

His sentencing is scheduled for August 28 at the federal courthouse in Great Falls.

Sutherland has a criminal endangerment offense from 2011 and a theft offense from 2009, both in Cascade County.