News and Press Releases

Johnny Lee Edwards Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Monday, November 07, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on November 7, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JOHNNY LEE EDWARDS, a 26-year-old resident of Browning, appeared for sentencing. EDWARDS was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 27 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

EDWARDS was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to burglary/assault.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On November 10, 2009, "E.P.", and his half-brother, "A.E.", were at "E.P.'s" house in Browning, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. They had been drinking earlier in the day and were sleeping and watching television. EDWARDS, "E.P.'s" nephew, came over to join the festivities and got into a fight with "E.P." and "A.E." about an ongoing family disagreement.

A.E." was punched in the face, knocked down, and stomped on. EDWARDS then went after "E.P." and began to assault him. Meanwhile, "C.H." drove to "E.P.'s" house with a friend. "C.H." went up to the door and looked in the front window and saw EDWARDS on top of "E.P.". She saw EDWARDS repeatedly punch "E.P." in the face with his fists. "C.H." went inside and tried to break up the fight and EDWARDS punched "C.H.".

EDWARDS then went outside and came back with a pair of metal nunchaku. "C.H." tried to block herself from EDWARDS with a chair, but EDWARDS hit her in the head with the swinging nunchaku. "C.H." attempted to call 911 from the house phone but EDWARDS yanked the cord from the wall.

A.E.", "E.P.", and "C.H." were injured.

EDWARDS claims that his assaults were justified because they were in large part self defense. The parties agree, however, that he did leave the premises and was afforded the opportunity to retreat, but returned with the nunchaku and resumed the assault. By returning to the home, with the intent to assault, EDWARDS acknowledges that he committed the offense of burglary.

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 conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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