James Michael Youpee Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney(s Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on September 25, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, JAMES MICHAEL YOUPEE, a 35-year-old resident of Poplar and an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe, pled guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sentencing has been set for January 16, 2014. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura B. Weiss, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On April 4, 2013, YOUPEE was staying at a hotel in Poplar, which is located within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. YOUPEE got into an argument with a woman he was seeing and she went to a different hotel room. Shortly after, YOUPEE forced his way into the room she had gone into and stabbed and cut a male occupant of the room. As a result, the victim was taken to the local hospital and then flown to Billings.
The victim had life-endangering injuries which required the placement of a chest tube to relieve air pressure in his lung.
YOUPEE 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 Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division.