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Press Release

Browning man admits shooting, wounding man during argument

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

GREAT FALLS — A Browning man admitted today that he shot another man during an argument in Browning on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Johnathan Charles Gifford Oldchief, 24, pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury, assault with a dangerous weapon and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Oldchief faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the assault crimes and a mandatory minimum five years to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearm crime.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for Nov. 16. Oldchief was detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that on April 7, Oldchief spent the evening drinking heavily with others. Shortly after midnight, five persons left the house in a vehicle driven by Oldchief. After driving less than two blocks, Oldchief and the victim, identified as John Doe, got into a verbal argument. Oldchief stopped driving and another person intervened to keep the two from coming to blows. Oldchief ordered Doe out of the vehicle. Doe complied, and another person also got out. After driving a short distance, Oldchief stopped the vehicle. Removing a pistol from near the console, Oldchief got out, approached Doe, racked the pistol and shot him point blank one time. Oldchief returned to his car and left the scene. Others called emergency services. Doe was flown to a hospital in Great Falls where he underwent lifesaving surgery. Law enforcement recovered a live round and a spent shell casing from the scene. Officers also recovered a 9mm magazine in a search of the vehicle. The bullet and a description of the gun matched a 9mm pistol that Oldchief bought in February.

 Assistant U.S. Attorney Kalah A. Paisley is prosecuting the case. The FBI and Blackfeet Law Enforcement conducted the investigation.



Clair Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated June 26, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-197