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Press Release

East Glacier man sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for murder of man shot after birthday party on Blackfeet Indian Reservation

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

GREAT FALLS  — An East Glacier man was sentenced today to 11 years and eight months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, after he admitted to murdering a man by shooting him after a birthday party on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Dillon James Wippert, 27, pleaded guilty in December 2022 to second degree murder.

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

In court documents and in court, the government alleged that on May 19, 2020, Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services officers responded to a residence in the Bear Paw community, where family members had found the body of the 19-year-old victim, identified as John Doe, in his bedroom. Investigators determined that Wippert, friends and the victim had gathered at the victim’s residence on May 17, 2020 to celebrate Wippert’s birthday. As the party was ending and the attendees were coming down from the drugs they had consumed, Wippert pointed a firearm at another friend, scaring him. Wippert then argued with the victim over the incident. Eventually, everyone left, while the victim and Wippert remained. Sometime later, Wippert took a firearm and shot the victim in the arm and then in the back of the head.

The government further alleged that after his arrest, Wippert told law enforcement he had a panther in him and described himself as a weapon. When pushed for a motive for the killing, Wippert’s only explanation was that he held ill feelings and that the victim had given him an “evil smile” and given off “death threat energy.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kalah A. Paisley, Lori Harper Suek and Wendy A. Johnson prosecuted the case. The FBI and Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services, with assistance from the Cut Bank Police Department, Glacier County Sheriff's Office, Mineral County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Service, conducted the investigation.



Clair Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer



Updated May 10, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-146