United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Ryan Soft, age 22, of McLaughlin, South Dakota, appeared before U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange on July 9, 2013, and pled guilty to Count I of the Indictment that charged him with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both; 3 years of supervised release; an additional 2 years of supervised release upon revocation; and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charge stems from an incident wherein on the evening of February 25 and into the early morning hours of February 26, 2013, Soft was at the house of some friends, drinking and socializing with the victim and others. Soft and another person got into a fight, when the victim intervened and began pushing/punching Soft in an effort to break up the fight. Eventually, Soft was sitting down in the corner of the room. The victim took a couple of steps back and Soft stood to his feet, then pulled a knife from his pocket and stabbed the victim in the stomach. The victim fell to the floor and then retreated to the kitchen.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Standing Rock Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Miller is prosecuting the case.
Soft was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing which has been set for September 23, 2013.
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