Tony Ray Many Guns Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on July 2, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, TONY RAY MANY GUNS, a 36-year-old resident of Browning and an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, pled guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sentencing has been set for October 21, 2013. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On February 28, 2013, MANY GUNS' wife was sleeping at a friend's home in Browning, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. At approximately 2:00 a.m., MANY GUNS showed up at the residence after drinking "downtown." He knocked on the bedroom window so that his wife would let him inside, but she did not open the window. MANY GUNS instead entered the house through the front door and was angry that his wife failed to aid in his entrance. While they were both in bed, MANY GUNS began to hit his wife by striking her in the mouth and in the cheek with a closed fist. MANY GUNS' wife started to return blows but soon rolled onto her stomach and buried her face in the mattress in an effort to protect herself.
MANY GUNS continued to hit his wife and eventually stuck her index finger in his mouth and bit down "as hard as he could." In an effort to get MANY GUNS to release her finger, his wife used her left hand to dig into MANY GUNS' eye. MANY GUNS let go and then used both of his hands to strangle his wife. MANY GUNS' wife recalled making gasping and choking noises and began to pray out loud. MANY GUNS said, "You better pray."
The physical altercation stopped for a short time, and MANY GUNS told his wife that he wanted something to eat. He made his wife go with him. Once in the kitchen, MANY GUN's wife said something that angered him. MANY GUNS responded by slamming her into the wall near the refrigerator. He then grabbed his wife around the neck and strangled her until she lost consciousness. MANY GUNS' wife did not know how long she was unconscious, but when she regained consciousness, MANY GUNS was holding her up by her arms in the same spot. She reached out and pushed at MANY GUNS and slapped him in the face. MANY GUNS returned fire, using a closed fist to strike her in the mouth, which caused bleeding. MANY GUNS gave his wife a towel and said, "Don't bleed on my floor."
The next day, MANY GUNS' wife soaked her finger in an attempt to prevent infection. MANY GUNS' wife eventually told him, "It felt like you were [going] [to] bite my finger off." MANY GUNS responded, "I was trying to." He then told her that she should not try to fight back.
MANY GUNS' wife went to the hospital because her finger became infected and she was unable to move it. The injury to the finger of MANY GUNS' wife was extremely painful. She received Lortab, which is a narcotic drug, for the pain and was required to go through IV therapy.
On March 4, 2013, MANY GUNS was interviewed about his wife's finger. MANY GUNS initially said that he did not remember anything happening to his wife's finger. After further questioning, MANY GUNS eventually recalled that his wife was upset and yelled that she hated him. While trying to get his wife to calm down, MANY GUNS stated that his wife reached forward and pressed a finger into his eyes. MANY GUNS claimed that was when he bit her finger. MANY GUNS acknowledged that he bit his wife's finger for one minute and remembered that she was screaming, crying, and bleeding profusely.
MANY GUNS 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs.