Aaron Wayde Beston and Kenneth Devereaux 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 August 31, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, AARON WAYDE BESTON, age 22, and KENNETH DEVEREAUX, age 21, residents of Wolf Point, appeared for sentencing.
BESTON and DEVEREAUX were each sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 24 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Restitution: $875
- Supervised Release: 3years
BESTON was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter.
DEVEREAUX was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to aiding and abetting involuntary manslaughter.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On February 7, 2008, BESTON and DEVEREAUX assaulted a male individual in Wolf Point, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Two days later, the individual died as a result of the assault. BESTON and DEVEREAUX had assaulted the individual because he had made advances toward a female who was with them when they stopped at her uncle's home.
DEVEREAUX had knocked the individual to the ground with a blind-side hit to the face. Both BESTON and DEVEREAUX continued to hit and kick the individual once he was on the ground.
When questioned by law enforcement, DEVEREAUX 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 DEVEREAUX and watched the assault, would have testified that they saw both BESTON and DEVEREAUX 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 DEVEREAUX helped the individual into a mobile home. Residents of the mobile home 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.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that they will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, they do have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law & Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.