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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nez Perce Tribal Member Sentenced For Assaulting Officers

COEUR D'ALENE - Robert Wesley Warden, 49, of Kamiah, Idaho, was sentenced today in federal court to 10 months in prison for assaulting three law enforcement officers, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. He went to trial and was convicted on May 7, 2014.

During the trial, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale heard evidence that on September 15, 2012, a distressed child called 911 and reported that Warden was beating her mother. The child’s mother also spoke to the 911 dispatcher. She reported that Warden threw her down and began kicking her in the face. The 911 dispatcher contacted the Nez Perce Tribal Police and a Kamiah Marshal to respond to the emergency.

Judge Dale heard evidence that the first person to arrive at the scene was a Kamiah Marshal. The Kamiah Marshal observed swelling and bruising to the mother’s face and learned that Warden had fled the scene. The Marshal stayed with the victims, waiting for Nez Perce Tribal Police to arrive from another city. Before Nez Perce Tribal Police arrived, Warden returned to the residence. The Kamiah Marshal met Warden outside and told him he was being detained until the arrival of the Nez Perce Tribal Police. Warden refused to cooperate and tried to pass the Kamiah Marshal in the direction of the woman and her child. The trial evidence showed that a struggle ensued and that Warden attempted to bite the Kamiah Marshal.

Nez Perce Tribal Police arrived shortly after the struggle between Warden and the Kamiah Marshal ended. They arrested Warden and placed him in a patrol car, where he began kicking the inside of the patrol car. When Nez Perce Tribal Police officers attempted to restrain Warden he attempted to kick an officer and bite another. Warden also spit on both officers. Warden was later charged by federal indictment with five counts of assault.

During the trial Warden asserted that the Kamiah Marshal lacked jurisdiction to detain him. The Court held that the defendant’s jurisdictional allegation was not a defense to the assault on the Kamiah Marshal and that the Kamiah Marshal reasonably responded to the 911 call.

The case was investigated by the Kamiah Marshals, Nez Perce Tribal Police, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated December 15, 2014