Jennifer Lee Jones Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on January 5, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JENNIFER LEE JONES, a 20-year-old resident of Poplar, appeared for sentencing. JONES was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 51 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Supervised Release: 3 years
JONES was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On June 29, 2007, at approximately 4:00 a.m., law enforcement officers from the Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office and the Fort Peck Tribes responded to a reported stabbing in Poplar. When the officers arrived at the house from which the call originated, they found two witnesses standing next to a female, hereafter referred to as W.E., who had four puncture wounds on her back. W.E. reported that she had been stabbed by JONES.
One witness told officers that he witnessed JONES stab W.E. The second witness told officers that JONES had bragged about stabbing W.E. and laughed about it.
Two additional witnesses observed JONES come down from Cain's Hill. JONES then went into her brother's house and left with a knife in her hand. They also heard JONES make statements about stabbing W.E. Only one of these witnesses saw JONES return from Cain's Hill. That witness heard JONES state that she stabbed W.E.
When officers located JONES, she had blood on her clothes. Some of the blood on her clothes was confirmed to be W.E.'s through laboratory testing.
When interviewed, JONES admitted arguing with W.E. at Cain's Hill near Poplar. She stated she retrieved a knife from her brother's house and then returned to Cain's Hill to fight W.E. She further stated that she swung the knife at W.E. but did not recall if she struck her. JONES also stated she tried to stab W.E. because she was angry with her.
W.E. suffered four stab wounds to her upper back. Both lungs were punctured. According to the medical report, there was blood around her left lung, and her right lung had a partial collapse. W.E. had two chest tubes inserted due to the punctured lungs. The chest tubes were removed on July 4, 2007.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that JONES will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, JONES does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office, the Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.