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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 8, 2021

Ashland man admits assaulting person with rifle on Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation

BILLINGS — An Ashland man accused of hitting another man in the head with a rifle pleaded guilty to an assault charge today, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.

Channing Lee Ziler, 33, pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Ziler faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. Ziler was detained pending further proceedings. A sentencing date is pending.

In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that on Dec. 31, 2017, Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers responded to a 911 call at a residence in Ashland, on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Multiple people were drinking at the residence, including Ziler. Witnesses described Ziler as being violent that night. The victim, identified as John Doe, arrived at the residence with other individuals. Witnesses described Ziler as holding a rifle when Doe arrived and saying, “this looks like someone I can slap around.” Ziler then struck Doe in the head with the rifle.

Ziler took Doe’s truck and left with Doe and another person. Law enforcement received another 911 call that the truck had run out of gas and that Ziler had set it on fire to stay warm in below zero temperatures. Ziler left the scene with the other individual, and law enforcement found Doe by the truck. Doe was taken to a Billings hospital for treatment of injuries.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Dake is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Affairs Officer 406-247-4623
Updated April 8, 2021