News and Press Releases

Eric Travis Turnsplenty Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on May 5, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, ERIC TRAVIS TURNSPLENTY, a 33-year-old resident of Pryor, appeared for sentencing. TURNSPLENTY was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 5 months and 7 days (time served)
  • Community Confinement: 6 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

TURNSPLENTY was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to threatening a federal officer.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On July 7, 2009, TURNSPLENTY barricaded himself in his parent's house in Pryor. Earlier, a BIA officer and a Crow tribal officer tried to arrest TURNSPLENTY. During the standoff that lasted about 5 hours, TURNSPLENTY repeatedly threatened to kill both officers. Also during the standoff, TURNSPLENTY called the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office and told them that he intended to shoot the officers if they attempted to enter his house - he specifically said he would "put a hole" in the officers if they entered or attempted to enter his house. He stated that he had guns in the house and he would use a gun if the officers attempted to enter. Eventually gas was used to smoke TURNSPLENTY out of the house and the standoff ended.

TURNSPLENTY was interviewed. He admitted that he threatened to "put a hole" in the officers if they attempted to enter his house. He admitted that he knew they were officers, and he specifically admitted that he knew they were BIA officers (only one is a BIA officer). He said that he threatened the officers because he did not want to go to jail.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that TURNSPLENTY will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, TURNSPLENTY does 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.



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