Thomas Charles Marc Heavy Runner Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on July 10, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, THOMAS CHARLES MARC HEAVY RUNNER, a resident of Browning, appeared for sentencing. HEAVY RUNNER was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 78 months
Supervised Release: 5 years
HEAVY RUNNER was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to accessory after the fact to the crime of murder.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica A. Betley and Laura B. Weiss, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In November 2011, Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services (BLES) executed a tribal search warrant at the victim's home, located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Prior to the execution of the search warrant, family members of the victim had contacted BLES and expressed their concerns that they had not seen or heard from her since June 2011.
Upon execution of the search warrant, law enforcement located an object in the home's crawl space that was approximately seven feet long and covered in plastic and wrapped with duct tape. The object was removed from the crawl space by investigators and sent to the Montana State Crime Laboratory. The medical examiner removed the layers, exposing a body inside. Through identifying characteristics, the body was determined to be that of the missing victim.
On July 1, 2011, HEAVY RUNNER returned home from work and found his father had just murdered the victim. HEAVY RUNNER's father asked for help in disposing the body. In order to hide the body, HEAVY RUNNER then assisted his father in wrapping the victim's body in blankets and moving it to a crawl space beneath the home. HEAVY RUNNER expressed to law enforcement that he did not want anything to happen to his father.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that HEAVY RUNNER will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, HEAVY RUNNER 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 Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.