Skip to main content
Press Release

First Rider Sentenced For Assaulting Federal Prison Guards

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

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, Montana, on May 12, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris, JASHA LASHELL FIRST RIDER, 29, of Browning, was sentenced to a term of 20 months imprisonment, two years supervised release, and a special assessment of $200.

First Rider was sentenced because she assaulted two federal officers while in jail. In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon, the government would have proven that First Rider appeared in Blackfeet Tribal Court and had her bond set higher than she wanted. First Rider became enraged when at the Blackfeet Tribal Jail. Federal officers at the jail approached First Rider, but she punched one in the face and scratched another repeatedly.

First Rider pleaded guilty to two counts of Assault on a Federal Officer. In a sentencing memorandum, Weldon told the Court, "First Rider assaulted two correctional officers because she disagreed with a judicial decision. She disrupted the jail facility, and officers were required to shuffle inmates-a dangerous endeavor by itself-in order to ensure that First Rider did not hurt herself or others. Despite federal officers' best efforts, First Rider punched one in the face and scratched another. . . . First Rider has a pattern of assaultive conduct, including assaulting officers. Not only must the Court consider how it will deter First Rider from assaulting officers, but others must realize that such decisions will be met with severe consequences. Federal officers demand this protection and so do their families."

The Court sentenced First Rider to 20 months of imprisonment, with two years of supervised release to follow. Because there is no parole in the federal system, the truth in sentencing guidelines mandate that First Rider will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, First Rider does have the opportunity to shorten the term of custody by earning credit for good behavior. However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated January 14, 2015