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'Bright and Beautiful' Indigenous Mom Was Killed in Hotel Room in Front of Her Children

Samantha Boshey's husband, Ryan Charles Rooney, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday following his Nov. 2 conviction for her murder

<p>GoFundMe</p> Samantha Boshey

GoFundMe

Samantha Boshey

A Minnesota man has received a life sentence for the 2021 shooting death of his wife inside a hotel room in front of her young children.

Ryan Charles Rooney was convicted on Nov. 2 of first- and second-degree murder, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. On Monday, a Hennepin County judge sentenced Rooney, 36, to life in prison with the possibility of release after 30 years, according to KARE 11, FOX 9 and CBS News.

The original criminal complaint states that Eden Prairie Police officers were dispatched to the Residence Inn Hotel off Flying Cloud Drive on Nov. 2, 2021, to assist hotel staff with a welfare check, according to KARE 11. When the officers arrived, they announced themselves several times at the room in question before a man, later identified as Rooney, came down the stairs from the room's second level. Rooney had a gunshot wound on his head, and a small child was with him, according to the complaint.

Upon searching the hotel suite, officers found a second small child in a crib on the first level and a woman — later identified as Rooney's wife, 29-year-old Samantha Boshey — dead on the second level with a gunshot wound to her chest, per the complaint. Police said they also found methamphetamine in the hotel room, according to KARE 11.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said Rooney was arrested at the scene.

<p>Hennepin County Sheriff's Office</p> Ryan Charles Rooney

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

Ryan Charles Rooney

Investigators later learned that Rooney and Boshey married on Aug. 30, 2021, and that Rooney had previous convictions for domestic violence and had violated orders for protection and no contact, according to KARE 11.

In a GoFundMe campaign established two days after Boshey's death, organizer Starr Hisgun — who referred to herself as Boshey's "big sister" — described Boshey as "a bright and beautiful indigenous woman."

"She was never without a smile and was always ready to crack a joke," Hisgun wrote of Boshey, whose nickname was Sosa. "Her laugh filled a room and made everyone around her laugh too. She was a loving mother to her three children; Jaxson, Ezrah, and Bella."

Hisgun continued, "She was strong, she was a fighter... all the way to her last breath. She didn't deserve this... her babies don't deserve to live a life without her..."

A 2016 study by the National Institute of Justice found that more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women (84.3 percent) have experienced violence, including 56.1 percent who have experienced sexual violence, according to the Indian Affairs office of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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At Rooney's sentencing on Monday, Boshey's family expressed their grief over her death.

"It pains me and kills me inside knowing I will never see her smile light up a room, watch her raise her kids, live her best life, and help her when she would fall like all fathers have a chance to do," Boshey's father, Charles Boshey, said, per KARE 11. "A big piece of me died that day she died. I will never be whole again because of what happened to my baby girl."

Rooney declined to speak before his sentence was handed down, according to KARE 11.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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