Wesley David Edwards 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 24, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, WESLEY DAVID EDWARDS, a 24-year-old resident of Browning, pled guilty to criminal endangerment. Sentencing has been set for August 25, 2011. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura B. Weiss, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On May 17, 2009, at approximately 2:00 a.m., a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was led on a high speed chase onto the Blackfeet Indian Reservation by EDWARDS. The chase, which reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour, resulted in the trooper's high-speed collision with a cow.
As a result of the collision, the trooper's vehicle swerved off the road and slammed into a fence. A Pondera County Sheriff's deputy arrived at the crash scene moments later and called for emergency medical personnel. The trooper was transported to a medical center and treated for injuries resulting from the crash. Medical personnel who subsequently treated the trooper confirmed that he sustained serious bodily injury with permanent impairment totaling three percent of his neck and shoulder.
When interviewed, EDWARDS admitted to intentionally leading the trooper on the high speed chase. He also admitted that at times he would turn his lights off to avoid being seen by the trooper. He stated that this proved to be dangerous because he could not see the road well and was swerving.
EDWARDS faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $50,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative between the Montana Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.