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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Garryowen man admits involuntary manslaughter, assault charges in vehicle crash

BILLINGS – A Garryowen man this week admitted involuntary manslaughter and assault charges stemming from an August 2018 vehicle crash that killed one passenger and injured two other passengers on the Crow Reservation, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Gus Oldbear III, 20, pleaded guilty on May 21 to involuntary manslaughter and to two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. Oldbear faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the assault charge and a maximum eight years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the manslaughter charge. Watters released Oldbear pending sentencing.

Prosecution evidence in court records said that Oldbear was driving a truck on a secondary highway between Wyola and Lodge Grass at about 4 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2018 when it left the road, hit a ditch and rolled. One of the three passengers in the truck died as a result of the crash, while the other two suffered serious injuries.

Oldbear and the three passengers, and an additional person, had been drinking and driving around most of the day on Aug. 9 and evening of Aug. 10. The additional person was dropped off in Wyola immediately before the crash. Oldbear admitted in an interview that he had been drinking but claimed that the cause of the crash was him falling asleep. A blood test taken from Oldbear at the time of crash determined he had a blood-alcohol concentration of .123 percent.

An autopsy performed on deceased person confirmed the cause of death was blunt force trauma caused by the crash. Both of the surviving passengers suffered spinal fractures and other fractures and lacerations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Suek prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
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Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated May 23, 2019