News and Press Releases

Orrin Eugene Hernandez Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, August 26, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on August 22, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, ORRIN EUGENE HERNANDEZ, a 29-year-old resident of Reserve, appeared for sentencing. HERNANDEZ was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 37 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

HERNANDEZ 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 Michael T. Wolfe, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On the evening of September 6, 2008, and proceeding into the early morning hours of September 7, 2008, HERNANDEZ was in his personal vehicle consuming alcohol with four other individuals, two males and 2 females. The group stopped at a residence in Poplar. HERNANDEZ and one of the male individuals exited the vehicle and started to approach the residence. The three other passengers remained in the vehicle.

Upon approaching the residence, HERNANDEZ and the male individual noticed an individual, S.M., sitting on the back steps of the next door neighbor's home. They approached S.M. and an argument ensued between HERNANDEZ and S.M. HERNANDEZ then punched S.M. multiple times. S.M. was bleeding and knocked to the ground, but appeared to still be conscious. HERNANDEZ continued to strike S.M. while he was on the ground. The other male individual observed the fight taking place and exited the vehicle. He approached HERNANDEZ and stopped HERNANDEZ from further striking S.M. This individual then got back into the vehicle while HERNANDEZ, the other male individual, and one of the female individuals entered the home.

Several individuals were present in the home and everyone had been drinking that night. Witnesses would have testified that HERNANDEZ came in the house bragging about having just beaten up S.M. Witnesses also recalled seeing blood on HERNANDEZ's hand and shirt.

At some point when all these individuals were in the house, a fight broke out. Shortly thereafter, HERNANDEZ and the male individual were told to leave. HERNANDEZ began fighting with one of the male individuals who had been in the house and others then engaged in the escalating altercation. The male individual from the vehicle then entered the home to remove HERNANDEZ and the other individual. About this time, the homeowner went to his neighbor's house to call police. He observed S.M. unconscious when he exited his home, and asked his neighbor to call an ambulance as well as the police.

When law enforcement responded to the residence, they learned that HERNANDEZ and his companions had fled in a green SUV. An officer soon found HERNANDEZ's SUV and initiated a stop. When the individuals exited the vehicle, the officer noticed that HERNANDEZ was not wearing a shirt and there was blood on his hand. There was also blood in the back of the passenger seat and the door next to where HERNANDEZ had been seated. The officer searched the vehicle and found a .22 caliber Ruger revolver and live ammunition. HERNANDEZ was arrested and transported to the Fort Peck Tribal Jail. S.M. was transported to Poplar Community Hospital.

Upon examining S.M., hospital staff determined that S.M.'s facial injuries were too severe for their hospital to care for as S.M.'s airway was compromised and his lungs were aspirating blood due to his inability to swallow from a broken jaw. S.M. was life-flighted to Billings for further medical treatment. S.M. did not remember anything about the incident. His BAC was .481, as measured at the Billings Clinic. He could not identify HERNANDEZ, and did not recall ever seeing or meeting him.

S.M. underwent extensive facial surgery to repair complex fractures to both the left and right mandibles. The attending doctor opined that S.M. had sustained serious bodily injury.

Law enforcement collected HERNANDEZ's clothing as well as a swab from S.M. which were sent to the FBI Laboratory for comparison and analysis. A forensic chemist confirmed that a portion of the blood DNA found on HERNANDEZ's jacket matched the DNA of S.M.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that HERNANDEZ will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, HERNANDEZ does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.



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