News and Press Releases

John Joseph Tatsey Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Monday, August 22, 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, JOHN JOSEPH TATSEY, a 39-year-old resident of Browning, appeared for sentencing. TATSEY was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 33 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

TATSEY 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 December 11, 2010, Blackfeet police were dispatched to a home in Browning in response to an assault in progress.

That night, the male victim had been asleep, sharing a bed upstairs with another male witness, when TATSEY entered the room and started "pounding on" the victim. The witness remembers TATSEY saying something to the effect of: "Was you texting my woman? What the fuck are you doing? Who were you calling?" The victim held his hands in front of his head, begging TATSEY to stop. TATSEY threatened to kill him. The witness tried to stop TATSEY but TATSEY threw him to the floor. The witness left to get help. TATSEY briefly followed the witness out of the room, at which point the victim took the opportunity to shove a dresser in front of the door to keep TATSEY from getting back in while the witness ran for help.

Meanwhile, TATSEY forced himself back into the room. He continued hitting the victim in the face, telling him he was going to kill him. At one point, TATSEY took the victim over to a window in an attempt to throw him out. The victim pleaded with TATSEY to let him leave. TATSEY released him, after which the victim ran out of the room and down the stairs. After arriving on scene, an officer intercepted the victim as he was fleeing the house, yelling "He's trying to kill me!" When the officer asked "who," the victim said, "Joey Tatsey just beat me up and is trying to kill me."

The victim was transported to the Blackfeet Community Hospital to be treated for severe facial and head injuries. The victim underwent facial surgery as a result of the assault. The physician who performed the surgery on the victim's face indicated that the injuries constituted serious bodily injury, which included an orbital fracture, significant laceration to the forehead and right eyelid resulting in scarring, and a loss of sensation to the right cheek.

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