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Press Release

Man Sentenced To 37 Months Imprisonment For Assault On Yakama Reservation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Jerrel Lee Charles, age 21, was sentenced today for committing an Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a crime to which he pleaded guilty in March, 2013. Senior District Court Judge Edward F. Shea sentenced the Charles to a thirty-seven (37) month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a three (3) year term of court supervision following his release from Federal prison. Judge Shea also ordered that Charles complete a mental health evaluation and follow any treatment recommendations of the evaluation professional.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, on October 13, 2012, Charles and his girlfriend had an argument at their residence located on the Yakama Reservation, which argument escalated into a physical confrontation. An acquaintance of the couple decided to intervene. The acquaintance retrieved a firearm, struck Charles, and began firing rounds into the air. The acquaintance and the victim then left the residence, entered a vehicle, and began to depart the area. Charles obtained a rifle and fired a shot at the vehicle. The victim was struck by a round fired by Charles. The victim was subsequently transported to the hospital. The Yakama Nation Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately began an investigation. After discovering what had happened, the law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for the Charles' residence and the rifle was found in his bedroom. After being advised of his Miranda warnings, Charles admitted he had shot the round that struck the victim. As explained during the court proceedings, Charles has a history of psychiatric hospitalizations.

Michael C. Ormsby said, "The Defendant endangered the lives of innocent people by discharging a firearm in the manner in which he did. The victim in this case is lucky to be alive. This type of conduct will absolutely not be tolerated in the Eastern District of Washington. I commend the Yakama Nation Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their efficient and successful investigative efforts in this case."

This investigation was conducted by the Yakama Nation Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Hanlon.


Updated January 29, 2015