News and Press Releases

Johnny Lee Edwards Arraigned and Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on June 28, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JOHNNY LEE EDWARDS, a 26-year-old resident of Browning, was arraigned and pled guilty to burglary/assault. Sentencing has been set for October 27, 2011. He is currently detained.

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

On November 10, 2009, "E.P.", and his half-brother, "A.E.", were at "E.P.'s" house in Browning. They had been drinking earlier in the day and were sleeping and watching television. EDWARDS, "E.P.'s" nephew, came over to join the festivities and got into a fight with "E.P." and "A.E." about an ongoing family disagreement.

A.E." was punched in the face, knocked down, and stomped on. EDWARDS then went after "E.P." and began to assault him. Meanwhile, "C.H." drove to "E.P.'s" house with a friend. "C.H." went up to the door and looked in the front window and saw EDWARDS on top of "E.P.". She saw EDWARDS repeatedly punch "E.P." in the face with his fists. "C.H." went inside and tried to break up the fight and EDWARDS punched "C.H.".

EDWARDS then went outside and came back with a pair of metal nunchaku. "C.H." tried to block herself from EDWARDS with a chair, but EDWARDS hit her in the head with the swinging nunchaku. "C.H." attempted to call 911 from the house phone but EDWARDS yanked the cord from the wall.

A.E.", "E.P.", and "C.H." were injured.

EDWARDS claims that his assaults were justified because they were in large part self defense. The parties agree, however, that he did leave the premises and was afforded the opportunity to retreat, but returned with the nunchaku and resumed the assault. By returning to the home, with the intent to assault, EDWARDS acknowledges that he committed the offense of burglary.

EDWARDS faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $50,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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