Aaron Wayde Beston 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 May 12, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, AARON WAYDE BESTON, a 22-year-old resident of Wolf Point, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Sentencing is set for August 30, 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 February 7, 2008, BESTON and another individual, hereafter referred to as "John Doe," assaulted a male individual in Wolf Point. Two days later, the individual died as a result of the assault. BESTON and "John Doe" had assaulted the individual because he had made advances on a female who was with them when they stopped by her uncle's house.
John Doe" had knocked the individual to the ground with a blind-side hit to the face. Both BESTON and "John Doe" continued to hit and kick the individual once he was on the ground.
When questioned by law enforcement, "John Doe" admitted that he hit the individual but denied further hits or kicks once he was down.
When questioned by law enforcement, BESTON admitted that he kicked the individual while he was on the ground.
Two females who were with BESTON and "John Doe" and watched the assault, would have testified that they saw both BESTON and "John Doe" hit and kick the individual after he fell to the ground. They stated that the individual did not defend himself. They further stated that they returned later to the assault sight where BESTON and "John Doe" helped the individual into the trailer. Residents of the trailer called for an ambulance.
The physician who performed the autopsy on the individual would have testified that the cause of death was an acute injury which caused the individual's colon to tear. He also stated that the injury is consistent with the individual being punched or kicked very hard.
They each face possible penalties of 8 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law & Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.