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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 28, 2021

Hardin woman who burned down house on Crow Indian Reservation sentenced to prison

BILLINGS — A Hardin woman who admitted to burning down a house on the Crow Indian Reservation in 2020 was sentenced on Oct. 27 to 30 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Vanessa Faith Prettyontop, also known as Vanessa Faith Gunshows, 34, pleaded guilty in April to arson.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that on Oct. 3, 2020, Prettyontop started a fire in a house owned by the victim, identified as John Doe. The victim had nearly finished a renovation and was planning to move in. Prettyontop entered the house through an open back door and intentionally lit a mattress on fire with a lighter. The fire spread to the rest of the house and Prettyontop walked out the front door. Prettyontop called 911 to turn herself in, confessed and said she was tired of people fighting over the house.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanne Torske prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair J. Howard Public Affairs Officer 406-247-4623
Updated October 28, 2021