News and Press Releases

George Joseph Running Wolf Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, August 19, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on August 19, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, GEORGE JOSEPH RUNNING WOLF, a 47-year-old resident of Browning, appeared for sentencing. RUNNING WOLF was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 27 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

RUNNING WOLF was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

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 November 4, 2010, a female arrived at the Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning. She stated that she had been assaulted during the early morning hours of November 4, 2010, by RUNNING WOLF. Attending physicians determined that the victim suffered a broken zygomatic arch (a facial bone on the left side of her face), a nose fracture and an inability to open her mouth. The surgeon who operated on the victim after the assault indicated the victim's injuries constituted serious bodily injury.

When interviewed by law enforcement, the victim stated that during the early morning hours of November 4, 2010, she was at the home of a friend with her brother and saw RUNNING WOLF there. As the victim got ready to leave, RUNNING WOLF offered her and another individual a ride home. After dropping off the other individual, instead of driving the victim to her home, RUNNING WOLF drove to his home in Browning and pulled into the driveway. The victim tried to leave, but he told her that she had to come inside his home. Still sitting in the car, he began demanding to know why she left him for another man. The victim recalled RUNNING WOLF saying something to the effect that if the victim had appreciated being assaulted by that other man then maybe she would also appreciate being assaulted by RUNNING WOLF. RUNNING WOLF became angry and struck the victim in the face and head. The victim recalled taking off her glasses and placing them on the floor near her seat so they would not get broken. When the victim tried to use her phone, RUNNING WOLF broke the cell phone and threw it in the back seat. As RUNNING WOLF continued to assault her, the victim began saying "Jesus," to which RUNNING WOLF responded, "Jesus isn't going to help you." When the victim began crying for help, RUNNING WOLF told her "no one can hear you."

The victim tried to leave, but RUNNING WOLF made her go inside with him. Once there, RUNNING WOLF began falling in and out of sleep. When the victim was confident RUNNING WOLF had fallen asleep, she fled to a neighbor's home. The neighbor observed that the victim appeared "beat up," with a swollen eye and lip. They then contacted police.

On November 5, 2010, law enforcement officers observed the car where the assault occurred parked at RUNNING WOLF's home. Through the windows, officers observed blood on the upholstery and other windows. They also observed the broken cell phone that the victim said she left in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle yielded evidence that directly aligned with the victim's description of the items and events from the previous night, including the broken cell phone and glasses she had placed under the seat.

The search also yielded a pay check stub for RUNNING WOLF from the center console and four swabbings of what appeared to be blood from various locations in the vehicle. The FBI Laboratory confirmed that three samples of blood from the car matched the victim's DNA.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RUNNING WOLF will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RUNNING WOLF 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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