News and Press Releases

Shaneal Bull Child Found Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that on February 9, 2012, in Great Falls, after a federal district court trial before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, SHANEAL BULL CHILD, a 22-year-old resident of Browning and an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, was found guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon. Sentencing is set for June 4, 2012. She is currently detained.

At trial, the following evidence and testimony was presented to the jury.

On April 9, 2011, Blackfeet Tribal law enforcement officers responded to a 9-1-1 call for assistance in Browning, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The reporting party told the dispatcher that an individual had been hit and run over by a truck. An officer arrived on the scene and met with the reporting party and attended to the victim until emergency personnel responded.

The witness testified that he was with the victim at the time of the incident. He also testified to having watched the truck strike the victim, and that he observed the truck drive away.

The officer went to the residence where the vehicle was found parked. BULL CHILD answered the door, along with another individual, who said he was the owner of the truck.

BULL CHILD was arrested and without any prompting from the officer, BULL CHILD stated, "my boyfriend [the owner of the vehicle] was not with me. I was driving the truck when I hit the girl walking, my boyfriend was here at his house." Upon arrival at the jail a breathalyzer test was administered with a result of .095.

BULL CHILD was then taken to the hospital to care for a cut on her head. While at the hospital, she again admitted to striking the victim with the vehicle.

When questioned later by a FBI agent, BULL CHILD again admitted hitting the victim with the truck and stated that the victim was walking on the sidewalk at the time. BULL CHILD said she did it because she was angry with the victim, who was earlier seen in her house hugging her boyfriend, and because the victim had thrown beer bottles at her.

The victim testified that she had been drinking at BULL CHILD's boyfriend's house on the night prior to the incident. The next morning the victim and the witness were still at the home, and when everyone was waking, BULL CHILD aggressively approached the victim. There was an argument and BULL CHILD tried to hit the victim, so the victim threw an open beer bottle she had in her hand at BULL CHILD. The victim then testified that she left the residence home and was walking home. She stated she only remembered being hit from behind and falling forward on the ground. She remembered it was a blue extended-cab Chevy pickup. She could not see who was driving at the time.

The victim was transported by ambulance and examined at the Blackfeet Community Hospital. She did lose consciousness, had swelling on her face where she hit the ground, right leg pain, and scrapes/abrasions on both hands.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael T. Wolfe prosecuted the case for the United States.

BULL CHILD faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Blackfeet Tribal Law Enforcement.



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