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Justice News

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

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Avatar Marvinjo Springfield Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on January 4, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, AVATAR MARVINJO SPRINGFIELD, a 25-year-old resident of Lodge Grass and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe of Indians, appeared for sentencing. SPRINGFIELD was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 9 months

Special Assessment: $25

Supervised Release: 1 year

SPRINGFIELD was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to simple assault of person under the age of 16 years.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Vincent Carroll, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On January 25, 2012, SPRINGFIELD, one of his friends, and the victim, who was 14-years-old at the time of the offense, were all drinking in a fifth-wheel trailer parked at a residence in Lodge Grass. According to the victim, she went into a back bedroom of the camper while SPRINGFIELD and his friend continued to drink in the front of the trailer. She then came back to the front of the trailer where SPRINGFIELD and his friend were, and she "blacked out." (The victim later told agents that on a scale of 1 to 10 - with 1 being sober and 10 being extremely drunk - she was a "10."). The next thing she remembered is "coming to" and SPRINGFIELD was hitting her in the face. The victim then went to her grandmother's where she spent the night. The victim was later taken to the hospital and treated for her injuries.

SPRINGFIELD was interviewed by law enforcement officers and stated that he was drinking with his friend and the victim in the fifth-wheel trailer. At one point, the friend saw the victim's mother driving around looking for the victim. SPRINGFIELD indicated that he told the victim to leave because he did not want any trouble from the victim's mother for drinking with the victim. When the victim refused to leave, SPRINGFIELD claimed that he and his friend attempted to leave, and the victim came at him and hit him in the back of the head. SPRINGFIELD explained that he then "spun around and hit [the victim] once" in the nose by "backhand[ing]" her.

The treating physician stated that the victim's injuries did not qualify as "serious bodily injury," but that the injuries did constitute "substantial bodily injury," because they involve: (A) a temporary but substantial disfigurement; and (B) a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member, organ or mental faculty.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that SPRINGFIELD will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SPRINGFIELD does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Updated January 14, 2015