BILLINGS — An Ashland man who admitted to assaulting a man, causing multiple head injuries while brandishing a rifle on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, was sentenced today to 48 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Channing Lee Ziler, 34, pleaded guilty in April to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
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, where people were drinking, 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 assaulted Doe, resulting in multiple head lacerations.
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 the occupants 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 T. Dake prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.