Wesley David Edwards Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on August 25, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, WESLEY DAVID EDWARDS, a 24-year-old resident of Browning, appeared for sentencing. EDWARDS was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 54 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 3 years
EDWARDS was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to criminal endangerment.
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 May 17, 2009, at approximately 2:00 a.m., a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was led on a high speed chase onto the Blackfeet Indian Reservation by EDWARDS. The chase, which reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour, resulted in the trooper's high-speed collision with a cow.
As a result of the collision, the trooper's vehicle swerved off the road and slammed into a fence. A Pondera County Sheriff's deputy arrived at the crash scene moments later and called for emergency medical personnel. The trooper was transported to a medical center and treated for injuries resulting from the crash. Medical personnel who subsequently treated the trooper confirmed that he sustained serious bodily injury with permanent impairment totaling three percent of his neck and shoulder.
When interviewed, EDWARDS admitted to intentionally leading the trooper on the high speed chase. He also admitted that at times he would turn his lights off to avoid being seen by the trooper. He stated that this proved to be dangerous because he could not see the road well and was swerving.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that EDWARDS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, EDWARDS 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 a cooperative effort between the Montana Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.