News and Press Releases

Emerson Paul Birdtail Ii Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on March 12, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, EMERSON PAUL BIRDTAIL II, a 22-year-old resident of Harlem, appeared for sentencing. BIRDTAIL was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 31 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

BIRDTAIL was sentenced in connection with his 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:

Around 10:00 p.m., on September 5, 2007, Fort Belknap Law Enforcement Services officers arrested BIRDTAIL for fighting. The arresting officers transported BIRDTAIL to the police department and placed him in a holding cell with another male individual who was sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

Almost immediately after BIRDTAIL was placed in the holding cell, officers monitoring the cell observed BIRDTAIL kicking the victim in the face. Although the officers rushed to the cell and restrained BIRDTAIL as quickly as possible, the victim suffered a broken jaw as a result of BIRDTAIL'S attack.

On September 13, 2007, when interviewed, BIRDTAIL admitted to the assault.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that BIRDTAIL will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, BIRDTAIL 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 Rebekah J. French prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Fort Belknap Law Enforcement Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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