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MAKAH TRIBAL MEMBER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON FOR BRUTAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTACK
Couple’s 14-year-old Son Intervenes to Stop Knife Attack

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2010

ROBERT CUMMINS, 37, a member of the Makah Tribe, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to three years in prison and three years of supervised release for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, related to a brutal attack. Judge Robert S. Bryan imposed the sentence on October 29, 2010, saying the prison sentence was necessary to protect the community.

According to records filed in the case, on March 30, 2010, CUMMINS became enraged at the victim and accused her of hiding money. He then tried to get her to leave the house but the victim resisted fearing that he was going to seriously injure her if she left with him. CUMMINS grabbed the victim and began beating her. At one point, he obtained a large butcher knife and began cutting the woman’s head, telling her she was going to die. The couple’s fourteen year old son intervened and was able to get the knife away from CUMMINS as he was raising it in a stabbing motion toward the victim’s head. The victim was able to get away and ran next door seeking help. After the victim fled, CUMMINS grabbed her keys and told his 14-year-old son that he was going to get his gun and shoot the victim. CUMMINS then left the house. CUMMINS was arrested April 20, 2010.

CUMMINS has assaulted the victim on prior occasions, once beating her and threatening to burn her. On another occasion, after the victim broke up with him, CUMMINS threatened to kill himself if she did not return. In her presence, CUMMINS retrieved a gun and shot himself in the chest. CUMMINS did not die and the victim returned to him.

At sentencing Assistant United States Attorney Bruce Miyake told the court that unless there was meaningful intervention, it was likely that CUMMINS would one day kill the victim. CUMMINS blamed this assault and his violent past on drug and alcohol abuse. He promised to change. At the time of this incident, CUMMINS was on probation with the Makah Tribal Court for domestic violence against the victim.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Makah Tribal Police Department.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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