Home Local News JOSEPH JAMES PLEADS GUILTY IN HUNHOFF MURDER CASE

JOSEPH JAMES PLEADS GUILTY IN HUNHOFF MURDER CASE

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A Norfolk Nebraska man has pleaded guilty in federal court to the murder of a Yankton, South Dakota woman.

48-year-old Joseph Lloyd James entered a guilty plea to First Degree Murder in Indian Country for the 2018 death of 59-year-old Phyllis Hunhoff on the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation in Nebraska.

Prosecutors say James and another man abducted Hunhoff outside of her mother’s Utica, South Dakota home the night of November 4th, 2018.

They traveled to Norfolk where the other man left the vehicle.

James then drove Hunhoff to the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation in Knox County, Nebraska where during the early morning hours of November 5th James stabbed her with a knife and then strangled her.

He later set fire to Hunhoff’s body and her vehicle to conceal the murder.

James’s plea agreement mandates a life sentence.

The judge ordered a pre-sentence investigation report and set sentencing for James on May 6th at 10 a.m. in Omaha.