News and Press Releases

Moriah Melissa Ojeda Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on July 7, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, MORIAH MELISSA OJEDA, a 21-year-old resident of Havre, pled guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sentencing has been set for October 27, 2011. She 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 March 29, 2011, OJEDA was at a house party located within the exterior boundaries of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. OJEDA is a non-Indian person. There were 12 to 13 people at the party, including OJEDA's girlfriend. The victim was also at the party. The victim is an Indian person. Most of the people present were drunk and drinking liquor.

A male witness stopped by the party and OJEDA's girlfriend came up to him and said the victim had assaulted her some time ago. OJEDA overheard this comment and asked, "why the [expletive] didn't you tell me that?" OJEDA then pulled out a knife and yelled, "I'm crazy, I'll stab someone." She held up the knife to the male witness's throat and he could feel the serrations from the blade on his skin. The knife had a stainless steel blade and could be opened with one hand. The knife was knocked away and he left the house.

Later in the evening, OJEDA thought the victim was trying to get with her girlfriend. Everyone then started to filter outside and the victim was the last one to go out the front door where OJEDA was standing. OJEDA struck the victim twice as he went out the door. She tried to strike him again, but the victim pushed her away. OJEDA began to chase the victim down the road. He ran towards his uncle's house and OJEDA finally stopped chasing him. When he had stopped, he realized the area where he had been struck was warm and bloody, and that he had been stabbed.

The victim was treated at the hospital in Havre where he underwent surgery for his wounds. The treating physician indicated the victim sustained serious bodily injury as there was a substantial risk of death and extreme physical pain. He had a stab wound to his abdomen and internal bleeding.

OJEDA 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 Rocky Boy's Criminal Investigation Division.

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



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