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Press Release

Box Elder man sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for shooting man in the back of the head with intent to commit murder on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation

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

GREAT FALLS – A Box Elder man who admitted to assault charges for shooting a man in the back of the head with a shotgun in an attempt to kill him on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation was sentenced today to 14 years and two months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Dakota Houle, 26, pleaded guilty in December 2021 to assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

The government alleged in court documents that on March 17, 2019 in Box Elder, located on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, Houle, another male individual and two females were at a residence. The group lured the victim, identified as John Doe, to the residence using social media. Shortly after Doe arrived, Houle and the male individual attacked and beat Doe, and robbed him at gun point. They forced Doe to remove his shoes and told him they were going to take him into the mountains to kill him.

Doe was forced at gun point into the front-passenger seat of his own car, while Houle sat directly behind Doe in the rear-side passenger seat with a shotgun in hand. The two females were passengers. The male individual drove the car toward the mountains as Doe pleaded for his life. When the vehicle slowed for a cattle guard, Doe reached over and jerked the steering wheel, causing the car to go into a ditch. Doe jumped out and attempted to escape.  The male individual shouted at Houle that Doe was “getting away” and to “shoot” him. Houle shot Doe in the back of the head, intending to kill him. Believing Doe was dead, Houle and the others fled on foot. Doe suffered serious life-threatening injuries and has permanent damage as a result of the shooting.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared C. Cobell and Lori Harper Suek prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Chippewa Cree Law Enforcement Services.



Clair Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer

Updated April 6, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice
Release Number: 22-088