A northern Minnesota man who beat his cousin to death with a metal cabinet has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
The sentencing of Ralph Edward Cloud Jr., 38, of Red Lake, in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis followed his guilty plea to second-degree murder in connection with the killing on Sept. 12, 2020, of 38-year-old Allen James Smith, also of Red Lake.
Cloud's sentence from Judge Michael Davis includes three years of supervision upon his release from prison.
While sentencing guidelines called for Cloud to receive 14 to 17 1⁄2 years in prison, prosecutors agreed with the defense in a plea deal for a 12-year term.
According to his online obituary, Smith was "remembered as loving to hang out with his family and friends. They loved his sense of humor and his kind heart, never wanting to hurt anyone. ... He liked to work on cars and stereo systems, watch NASCAR races, [attend] smoke sessions with friends, and play cribbage and dominoes."
According to court documents:
Cloud, his wife, Smith and others were drinking at Smith's home. Cloud's wife brought him home after he became intoxicated. She then returned to the gathering.
Long concerned about a relationship between his wife and Smith, Cloud walked several miles back to Smith's home, where he saw the two of them together in bed. Cloud punched and kicked Smith, then hit him with the cabinet and its drawers.
Cloud left Smith there to die, walked back home and later posted on Facebook that "I'm sorry I might be going away for murder. I caught my ... wife cheating on me."