Antoine Robert Three Fingers Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on October 12, 2010, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, ANTOINE ROBERT THREE FINGERS, a 26-year-old resident of Lame Deer, pled guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sentencing has been set for January 12, 2011. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
CK is THREE FINGERS' girlfriend and the mother of his child. She has been a victim of domestic abuse by THREE FINGERS on numerous occasions during the three years they have been a couple, including one that led to a conviction in Northern Cheyenne Tribal Court. CK and THREE FINGERS were drinking with another female individual on Saturday, February 6, 2010. CK became extremely intoxicated. THREE FINGERS drove the three out of Lame Deer on a little traveled road that was very snowy and became stuck.
While there, CK and THREE FINGERS argued and THREE FINGERS became increasingly agitated and angry, to the point of scaring the other female. THREE FINGERS tried to use a large tree branch to get the vehicle out, which did not work. He struck the vehicle's roof and windshield with the branch, denting the roof and cracking the windshield. As the three tried to walk out for help in the deep snow, CK fell in the snow several times. THREE FINGERS kicked snow in her face and taunted her to get up. The other female ran ahead of CK and THREE FINGERS to get help. At the time the other female left, CK had no visible injuries.
The other female eventually arrived at a home several miles away and told a male individual about THREE FINGERS and CK being stuck. The male individual and others went to help. They first found THREE FINGERS, who then directed them up the road further to Ck. Ck was on the ground in the middle of the road approximately seven-tenths of a mile from where the vehicle was stuck. She was unconscious and appeared both extremely cold and injured. They loaded her into a pickup truck and took her back to the male individual's home.
CK's family came to the home to find her a short time later. They found her unconscious on the couch with bruising on her face and blood on her clothes and face. CK's family immediately took her to Indian Health Services in Lame Deer, where her injuries were assessed and she was intubated. She was then transferred to St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings. Doctors found CK to have a collapsed and punctured lung, a skull fracture, subdural hematoma, broken ribs, a broken nose and extensive bruising on numerous portions of her body, including her head, both ears, upper arms, back, both hips, buttocks, and legs. She appeared to have been kicked and/or punched numerous times, causing the injuries. The doctor's report stated that CK's injuries were serious bodily injury and that she could have died from the injuries.
THREE FINGERS evaded law enforcement for several days before turning himself in. When questioned, he claimed that CK had sustained the injuries by falling in the snow and noted that only two people knew what happened - he and CK - and that CK could not remember due to her injuries and intoxication. THREE FINGERS had scratches on his knuckles and CK's blood on the boots he wore that day.
Found during the investigation was an area that appeared to be the scene of the assault, where there was a large amount of blood on the fresh snow, along with the string from CK's jacket hood and the tab from her jacket zipper that appeared to have been forcibly ripped from the jacket.
A forensic pathologist reviewed all of the medical reports and photographs in the case, and opined that CK's injuries were inconsistent with a fall or even multiple falls, but were consistent with non-accidental trauma from being repeatedly kicked and struck.
THREE FINGERS 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.