Steven Lee Gray Hawk Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls on January 15, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, STEVEN LEE GRAY HAWK, a 31-year-old resident of Poplar, pled guilty to assault on a federal officer and assault with a dangerous weapon. Sentencing is set for April 13, 2009. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On August 29, 2007, a Fort Peck Tribal officer was dispatched to a trailer house in Poplar, on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. As he approached, he observed two men get out of a pickup truck parked on the street and flag him down. The officer recognized one of the men. The men told the officer that GRAY HAWK, commonly referred to as "Mousey," had a gun and was discharging it in a nearby alley.
As the officer drove his patrol car down the alley, he encounter "Mousey" GRAY HAWK. GRAY HAWK was carrying a long gun, which at that time, could not be further identified because the officer immediately ducked down, put his car in reverse, and began to retreat from the alley. As the officer was backing up, he peeked over the dash to see GRAY HAWK raise the gun to his shoulder, whereupon the officer again ducked down. He then heard a shot fired which did no damage to him or his vehicle. The officer then radioed for back-up assistance from other officers. An examination of the officer's vehicle after the incident revealed nine pellet dents caused by the shooting.
Several officers then arrived in response and observed GRAY HAWK in the yard of his younger brother's home still holding the firearm, which was later determined to be a black, police-style shotgun - a 12 gauge Remington 870 Express.
As two other officers approached in another vehicle, GRAY HAWK pointed the firearm at their vehicle. The driver immediately put the vehicle in reverse and backed away from the scene. The officers heard the shotgun being discharged. The officer stopped the car about 200 feet from GRAY HAWK. GRAY HAWK again raised the shotgun to his shoulder and pointed it at the officers, so the officer backed the car up even further from the scene. The officers heard GRAY HAWK fire again. GRAY HAWK then lowered the shotgun and began walking down the street firing shells from the shotgun.
GRAY HAWK stopped at his brother's house and walked into the back yard. When he reappeared, he was still carrying the shotgun. One of the officers then got out of his car and ordered GRAY HAWK to put down the shotgun. GRAY HAWK threw the weapon down but then immediately retrieved it and fired another round. As he approached the officer, GRAY HAWK repeatedly yelled "Kill me, Kenny" or, alternatively, "Kill me, Willard." The officer renewed his command to GRAY HAWK that he drop the firearm. GRAY HAWK repeated his earlier action - he threw the weapon to the ground, then advanced and picked it up, and then discharged it to the southwest of his brother's residence. Finally, GRAY HAWK tossed the weapon away and walked to the officer.
GRAY HAWK faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.