News and Press Releases

James Duane Smith Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, March 11, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on March 10, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JAMES DUANE SMITH, a 38-year-old resident of Wolf Point, appeared for sentencing. SMITH was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 78 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

SMITH was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to assault with a dangerous weapon.

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

During the evening of April 7, 2010, SMITH, his girlfriend, the victim, a 55-year-old male, and the victim's girlfriend were all cooking dinner at the victim's house in Wolf Point.

Around 8:00 p.m., SMITH and his girlfriend were cooking food and arguing in the kitchen. The victim and his girlfriend were sitting in the living room watching television. The victim smelled food burning and yelled at SMITH to watch what he was doing and not burn anything.

SMITH then grabbed a knife from the kitchen and ran into the living room and attacked the victim with the knife. The two women tried to get SMITH to stop attacking the victim, and the victim's girlfriend called 911 when she saw the victim bleeding profusely.

SMITH left the house and tried to give the knife to the victim's girlfriend as he was leaving. She would not take the knife, so SMITH dropped the knife into a mop bucket by the back door as he left the house. The knife was later recovered from the mop bucket, and was approximately eight inches long with what looked like blood on the knife.

The victim was taken to the emergency room in Wolf Point where he was treated for a knife cut to his lower chin, two puncture wounds on his left shoulder and arm, a laceration to his cheek and various bruises.

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



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