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Press Release

Fort Peck Man Sentenced to 14 Years for Stomping Death

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

GREAT FALLS—A 42-year-old Wolf Point man was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison for stomping and beating a man so violently that the man died two days later. Great Falls United States District Court Judge Brian Morris sentenced Mervin Hale, Jr., to 168 months in prison, followed by a term of 4 years supervised release.  Hale previously pleaded guilty to second degree murder.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Weiss told the court that Hale and another man had been on a drinking binge in the days prior to the beating. During the late night hours of March 18, 2014, Hale and the man went to the victim’s home where the victim lived with his girlfriend.  The investigation revealed that the victim had been sleeping in the bedroom when Hale called him out to the living room.  Hale was agitated and pacing around before he started beating and stomping on the victim.  The victim died two days later from significant traumatic internal injuries.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, Hale will have to serve at least 85% of his sentence before he is released from prison. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law & Justice. Assistant United States Attorneys Laura Weiss and Lori Suek prosecuted the case.

Updated February 3, 2015