Nathan Charles Stanley Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on May 23, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, NATHAN CHARLES STANLEY, a 29-year-old resident of Box Elder, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and (3) counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sentencing has been set for September 12, 2011. He is currently detained.
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:
On July 22, 2010, around 6 p.m., there was a two car crash within the exterior boundaries of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. A father and his family had just left their house to go to the fair in Havre. The father was driving his pickup truck and had six other passengers with him. Three of the passengers included his wife, and his two daughters.
As he was driving west on a two-lane road, he saw a silver and red truck come around a turn and drive at him in the same westbound lane. The father could not see the driver at first, as it appeared the driver was looking under the dashboard. In an effort to avoid a head-on collision, he swerved into the eastbound lane and hit the breaks of his truck. At the same time, he saw the driver of the opposing truck, a male, look up and attempt to get back into the correct lane of eastbound traffic. The two trucks then crashed into each other.
STANLEY, an enrolled member of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, was driving the pickup truck that crashed into the father's vehicle. STANLEY's brother was seated next to him in the single cab truck. Next to his brother was his cousin, and next to his cousin was STANLEY's girlfriend. She died immediately at the scene. Her body was lodged up against the far passenger side of STANLEY's truck, and her legs were crushed between the dashboard and the seat.
The postmortem examination of the victim revealed that she died of blunt force injuries to her face and chest, which included a laceration to her heart. Meanwhile, the father's wife was trapped in the front seat of his truck and sustained serious bodily injury. His daughters also sustained serious bodily injury as a result of the crash.
Just prior to the crash, a witness was driving eastbound on the same road. As he drove past the church, a red and silver truck whipped by him. This witness has known STANLEY and his brother since they were kids, and he saw STANLEY driving the truck as it passed. A few seconds later the witness saw STANLEY collide with the other truck. At least seven other witnesses also identified STANLEY, or an Indian male, as the driver of STANLEY's truck.
STANLEY was taken to the hospital for medical treatment. His blood alcohol content was a .339, and also tested positive for opiates and methadone. Police seized a bottle of vodka and an empty pill bottle of hydrocodone from STANLEY's truck. STANLEY was interviewed and said he took two tramadol pills and began drinking vodka around 9 a.m. on July 22, 2010.
STANLEY faces possible penalties of 8 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release for involuntary manslaughter and possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release for each of the assault resulting in serious bodily injury counts.
The investigation was a cooperative between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rocky Boy's Criminal Investigation Division.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.