PENDLETON — A local woman faces federal charges of first-degree murder in the death of a man she claimed sexually abused her throughout childhood.

Skylar Crowe, 22, is facing charges in the death of Richard Higheagle, 38, according to an affidavit FBI Special Agent Rex Shark filed Sept. 30 in federal court for an arrest warrant. Much of following information is from the affidavit.

Umatilla Tribal Police on Sept. 29 at approximately 7:40 p.m. responded to 49 Willow Drive on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and found Higheagle, who appeared to have been stabbed once through the chest. He died at a hospital about an hour after police found him.

Crowe that night drove herself to the Umatilla Tribal Police Department. She told Shark she stabbed Higheagle with a kitchen knife and “admitted that she intended to kill him,” but said she was “remorseful that she had killed him.”

Crowe told Shark she had lived under Higheagle’s roof while he was married to her mother and he had sexually abused her through grade school and middle school, and said he also abused her sister until she was 16.

A second source, who federal investigators do not name but describe as Crowe’s intimate partner, told officials he saw Crowe stab Higheagle. He told officials that during the first month of their relationship, Crowe told him she had “had been raped repeatedly by Higheagle during her childhood” and also “told him repeatedly during their four years together that she wanted to kill Higheagle.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaclyn Jenkins, the former Umatilla County chief deputy district attorney, reviewed the affidavit, accompanying complaint and arrest warrant, according to court records. Jenkins, now based in Portland, is the lead prosecutor in the case. Conor Huseby, a federal public defender based out of Portland, is Crowe’s attorney.

Tribal police booked Crowe into the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, on Sept. 28, and the U.S. Marshals Service transferred her to the Multnomah County Jail, Portland. Federal court records show Crowe had a detention hearing Tuesday, Oct. 12, and Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You approved her conditional released the following day. The federal court in Portland set Crowe’s arraignment for Oct. 29 at 1:30 p.m.

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Reporter primarily covering government and public safety in Umatilla and Morrow County.

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