News and Press Releases

Eric Owen Boyd Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula on December 16, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, ERIC OWEN BOYD, a 32-year-old resident of East Helena, pled guilty to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. Sentencing is set for March 25, 2010. He is currently detained.

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 October 17, 2002, BOYD was convicted of felony theft, thereby prohibiting him from possession of firearms.

On January 6, 2008, while at the East Helena residence of his girlfriend, BOYD drank a bottle of whiskey and retrieved a Jennings/Bryco Arms, Model J-22, .22 caliber pistol from the girlfriend's room. The pistol belonged to BOYD'S mother. After retrieving the pistol, BOYD called his mother and spoke to her about his own death and taking his life. His girlfriend tried to take the pistol away from BOYD. BOYD took the pistol back from his girlfriend and shot himself in the stomach. BOYD'S girlfriend then shouted for her roommate who was asleep in the other room of the residence. The roommate came out and put the pistol in his room before calling 911.

A Lewis and Clark Sheriff's deputy arrived on the scene before the medical units. He spoke with BOYD about why BOYD shot himself, and BOYD told him the wound was an accident while he was "fiddling" with the gun.

BOYD faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Lewis and Clark Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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