Lapwai Man Pleads Guilty to Assault
COEUR D'ALENE – Carl Weatherwax, 24, of Lapwai, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Coeur d’Alene to assault resulting in serious bodily injury, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, on July 21, 2011, Carl Weatherwax, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, assaulted a female, also an Indian, at a friend's home on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. Weatherwax admitted that he hit, slapped, choked, and threw the victim against a wall and shoved her out a door causing her to roll down the steps. According to the plea agreement, the victim's knee snapped and popped. Weatherwax admitted that he pulled the victim to a standing position, began to push her in the direction of her home, and pushed her to the ground again. A neighbor observed what was happening and yelled at Weatherwax. Weatherwax fled the area.
The charge of assault resulting in serious bodily injury is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Sentencing is set for June 19, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.
“Working hand in hand with the Nez Perce Tribal Police Department and the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to fulfilling its unique public safety responsibility in Indian Country,” said Olson. “Tragically, Native American women are assaulted at rates much higher than women in other ethnic groups. Today's plea takes a step toward increased protection of Native American women and ensures that Mr. Weatherwax will be held accountable for his violent conduct.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Nez Perce Tribal Police.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.