“William Headbird Sentenced to Prison for Murder of Diego Gasca”

By | July 14, 2023



William Headbird, a resident of Cass Lake, has been sentenced to 234 months in prison for second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Diego Gasca in July 2021. Headbird, 47, pleaded guilty to charges of ineligible possession of a firearm and second-degree murder. The sentencing was announced by Cass County Attorney Ben Lindstrom.

According to the criminal complaint, the incident occurred on July 5, 2021, when the Cass County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a man being shot near Basswood Avenue and Fourth Street NW in Cass Lake. Upon arrival, deputies found Diego Gasca lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. He was later pronounced dead at the Cass Lake Hospital.

During the investigation, it was revealed that a large gathering had taken place in Cass Lake, and witnesses identified William Headbird as one of the individuals present. Shortly after an altercation, witnesses observed a car pulling up at the intersection of Basswood Avenue and Fourth Street NW, from which several shots were fired. The vehicle then fled the scene, and Gasca was found injured.

Law enforcement located the vehicle matching the description provided by witnesses, collected DNA evidence, and interviewed witnesses, leading to the identification of William Headbird as the shooter.

Headbird was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder on July 5, 2022, and was sentenced to 234 months, or 19.5 years, in prison. The successful prosecution of this case was attributed to the collaborative efforts of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department.

The Cass County Attorney’s Office expressed gratitude to lead investigators Ryan Fisher and Special Agent Jake Hodapp for their dedication and persistence in solving the crime over the course of a year-long investigation.


The sentencing of William Headbird brings a measure of justice to the family and friends of Diego Gasca, who tragically lost his life in the shooting incident..