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Press Release

Heart Butte man admits stabbing employee in Glacier Peaks Casino and Hotel on Blackfeet Indian Reservation

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

UPDATED to correct name of business as Glacier Peaks Casino and Hotel

GREAT FALLS — A Heart Butte man accused of stabbing an employee of the Glacier Peaks Casino and Hotel while in the business admitted to an assault charge today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Kal William Runningcrane, 27, pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon. Runningcrane faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for Nov. 7. Runningcrane’s release was continued pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that in the early morning hours of Feb. 25, Runningcrane stabbed a Glacier Peaks employee, identified as John Doe, with a knife. Runningcrane had been drinking for several hours with family and friends to celebrate his birthday. The group was listening to live music, and Doe was sitting alone at an adjacent table. Without provocation, Runningcrane walked to Doe’s table, approached from the side and stabbed Doe in the neck. Doe tried to stand and fight back, and Runningcrane stabbed him in the abdomen. Doe grabbed Runningcrane’s wrist, trying to disarm him, and was able to get away. The knife fell to the ground. Runningcrane left the scene and was arrested later that night miles from Browning, on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, where the casino is located. Doe was rushed to the hospital and then life-flighted to Great Falls for treatment of wounds.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. The FBI, Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services and Pondera County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated July 1, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 24-170