Woman charged with killing uncle, tampering with evidence near Arlee

Darnell Lee Reevis charged with felony murder and two counts of tampering with evidence. 

ARLEE - A 41-year-old woman is in custody for allegedly killing her uncle outside his home near Arlee on Friday. 

According to court documents from the Missoula County Attorney's Office, Darnell Lee Reevis is in custody for allegedly beating her uncle, Paul Big Sam, with an aluminum baseball bat on Friday, June 26. Documents said that investigators believe Paul died from blunt force trauma to the head. 

Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputies and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Officers responded to a report of a disturbance at Big Sam Lane, near Arlee and in Missoula County, on June 25, the day prior to the alleged murder. 

According to the affidavit, on June 25, Reevis got angry with her mom, Mary Big Sam, and her uncle because they wouldn't give her money. Mary and Paul are siblings. Reevis apparently headbutted Paul Big Sam and pushed a hot barbecue over in anger.  

Reevis sustained injuries from the headbutt and was taken to a Missoula area hospital and later released. 

Then in the late morning hours of June 26, Reevis' mother Mary found Paul lying in his yard with his face covered in blood.

Law enforcement was called back to the scene. Court documents said Paul died while on the way to the hospital. Paul's autopsy is scheduled for Monday, however, investigators believe he died from blunt force trauma to his head. 

When asked by a tribal officer, Reevis admitted to striking her uncle with the bat, but claimed it was in self defense from the headbutt incident. 

Court docs also reveal Reevis allegedly washed her blood-stained clothes and tried to hide the bat.

Reevis is being charged with one count of felony murder and two counts of tampering with evidence for allegedly washing the bloody clothes and hiding the bat.

In a Missoula County justice court zoom hearing on Monday, the judge set a hefty bond at $1 million dollars. 

Reevis is set to appear in court July 20th. 

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