BILLINGS — The man accused of chasing down, shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend ambush-style in front of their child has changed his plea to guilty.
Taylor Leigh Plain Bull, 27, appeared by video in Montana U.S. District Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.
Plain Bull shot and killed Lenita Goes Ahead, 26, on Oct. 24, 2020, while she was driving her daughter to a birthday party in Billings. He was initially charged with first-degree murder.
According to prosecutors, Goes Ahead left Pryor in her car with her daughter and boyfriend, and was traveling west on Blue Creek Road when she passed Plain Bull, who was driving in the opposite direction.
Plain Bull was driving a truck he stole from a Billings convenience store that had four guns, including a .45 caliber Springfield semiautomatic pistol.
After Plain Bull passed Goes Ahead, he turned around and chased after her.
Court documents state he sped ahead and stopped the truck sideways in the middle of the road, then got out and pointed a gun at Goes Ahead’s car.
However, Plain Bull denied that portion of the day's events during Wednesday's court hearing and gave a slightly different account.
Documents go on to state Goes Ahead tried to escape by driving in reverse, but Plain Bull got back into the stolen truck and began driving alongside her.
Goes Ahead put the car in drive, and her boyfriend saw that Plain Bull was coming up fast behind them.
Plain Bull passed them up, pulled ahead of them, and stepped on the brakes, forcing Goes Ahead to drive into oncoming traffic and into the ditch, which is another part of the narrative Plain Bull denied on Wednesday.
Court documents state the weather at the time was extremely cold and snowy, and she was unable to drive the car out of the ditch.
Plain Bull approached the car armed with a black pistol and Goes Ahead locked the doors, while her boyfriend gave her his phone to call 911.
Plain Bull fired two shots, with one shot striking the dashboard, and the other struck the chin of Goes Ahead, then continued into her chest, destroying her heart, court documents state.
Plain Bull claimed the gun discharged when he went to hit Goes Ahead's boyfriend in the temple with the butt of the gun.
Plain Bull took his daughter and drove away, then later dropped her off with family members.
After the shooting, documents state Plain Bull called 911 twice and claimed the shooting was accidental and requested an ambulance.
Plain Bull created a story claiming that Goes Ahead saw him and tried to pull over on the slippery road, which caused her to go into a ditch.
Plain Bull said he was going to give her money, but the male passenger in her car started to give him grief and tried to pistol-whip him when the gun went off.
Goes Ahead was pronounced dead at the scene.
The FBI issued a Be On the Lookout (BOLO) alert the following day, and Plain Bull was taken into custody on Oct. 27 following a standoff with law enforcement at the Rodeway Inn in Billings.
Under the plea agreement, the charge of second-degree murder carries a penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine, five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
The other charge, use of a firearm during a crime of violence, carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of life. The charge also has a $250,000 fine, five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
The change of plea documents state the sentences must be served consecutive to any of Plain Bull’s other sentences.
A sentencing date was set for July 23 by Judge Susan P. Watters. Plain Bull remains in custody in Wyoming.