Curtis Ray Eder Found Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that on August 24, 2011, in Great Falls, after a federal district court trial before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, CURTIS RAY EDER, a 23-year-old resident of Poplar, was found guilty of second degree murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sentencing is set for December 5, 2011. He is currently detained.
At trial, the following evidence and testimony was presented to the jury.
On July 4, 2010, EDER and Darcy Bushman were in an on-again off-again romantic relationship. They share a child. As told by Bushman, the night before, EDER wanted to spend time with Bushman, but she instead was with her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Buckles, who was on leave from the military. EDER had a lot to drink the night and early morning of July 3 and 4, 2010. Shortly before 5:00 a.m., EDER knocked on Bushman's bedroom window at her home in Poplar. Bushman was in bed with Buckles. Bushman met EDER on the front porch and they argued. When EDER realized that Bushman was with Buckles, he became enraged and grabbed Bushman and bit her lower ear off. EDER then grabbed a kitchen knife, kicked in the bedroom door where Buckles was sleeping, and stabbed Buckles 23 times, which resulted in his death.
After the stabbing, EDER ran outside of Bushman's home and got into a nearby car owned by Gordon Brown. While in Brown's vehicle, EDER stated to Brown that someone tried to stab him. EDER got out of the vehicle and was found by police officers shortly thereafter.
After EDER's arrest, a crime scene investigation was conducted and Bushman's ear lobe and a knife were recovered. EDER was later interviewed. He confirmed the events of July 3 and 4 as told by Bushman, but claims that he blacked out and woke up in tribal jail.
The knife and EDER's clothing were sent to the FBI lab. The tests performed confirm that the blood on the knife and on EDER's clothing was Buckles' blood. EDER is an enrolled member at Fort Peck.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tara J. Elliott and Lori H. Suek prosecuted the case for the United States.
EDER faces possible penalties of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for second degree murder, and 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release for assault resulting in serious bodily injury. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division.