United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Merle Left Hand Bull, age 60, of Rosebud, South Dakota, appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on August 15, 2011, and pled guilty to Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.
On September 3, 2009, Left Hand Bull and the victim were together near the Grass Mountain community in Todd County. They had a disagreement, and the victim departed his company and walked down a nearby roadway. Defendant was upset that the victim had been having telephone contact with another man and eventually pursued her and encountered her along the roadway and beat her, including kicking her with his boots.
The victim was found along the roadway, and a good Samaritan took her to the hospital. The victim had injuries, including a fractured nose, a fracture in the wall of her left orbit, and a large amount of soft tissue swelling, including hematomas and abrasions on her jaw area and around her eye. She also had a cut on her right arm.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Maher.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for November 14, 2011. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.