Carl Chester Alden, Jr. Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney(s Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on September 30, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, CARL CHESTER ALDEN, JR., a 23-year-old resident of Hardin and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Sentencing has been set for January 6, 2014. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On December 17, 2012, at approximately 9:00 a.m., ALDEN was recklessly driving a 1996 Ford pickup with two front seat passengers, one being the victim and one rear seat passenger. ALDEN crashed the vehicle at the Third Street exit off of Interstate 90 at Hardin, just within the exterior boundaries of the Crow Indian Reservation. The victim was killed in the crash.
The vehicle was registered to ALDEN's common-law wife. When interviewed following the crash, ALDEN couldn't remember driving, stating only, "it could have been me driving," or the crash itself.
The two surviving passengers were interviewed the day of the crash and recalled that ALDEN was driving during the crash. These accounts support evidence at the scene of the crash as officers reported that ALDEN had to be extricated from the vehicle, because he was pinned under the steering wheel during the course of the crash.
ALDEN admitted that he was drinking alcohol before the crash while he was driving the pickup. A sample of blood was collected from ALDEN approximately 3 hours post-crash and was sent to the FBI laboratory for analysis. Laboratory results indicated an ethanol concentration of .155 gram percent based on gas chromatography analysis.
ALDEN faces possible penalties of 8 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.