Investigation of Lodge Grass Triple Killing Concludes, No Charges Filed
As a matter of policy, the Department of Justice does not ordinarily comment on case declinations. An exception was made in this case because of the high level of public interest and concern in the community.
LODGE GRASS, MONTANA - On August 4, 2017, Nehemiah Brokenrope, Frank Nomee Jr., and Denise Stewart were shot and killed after entering a home on the Crow Reservation. Occupants of the home were also injured. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) conducted an extensive, 10-month investigation. The investigation involved numerous interviews, evidence collection and analysis, and autopsies of the deceased.
The investigation revealed that Brokenrope, Nomee, and Stewart forcibly entered the house carrying at least one gun and possibly another gun or other weapon. An occupant of the home had a gun. Shots were fired. An occupant of the home was shot in the abdomen. Brokenrope, Nomee, and Stewart were mortally shot.
After a careful review of the evidence and witness testimony, prosecutors concluded the investigation could not conclusively determine who shot whom, or in what order the shots were fired. Thus, there is no way to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, who actually fired the shot(s) that killed any of the decedents. Additionally, even if there were evidence sufficient to prove who shot whom, the United States would be unable to overcome beyond a reasonable doubt claims of self-defense and/or defense of another.
Upon careful consideration of the evidence and after consulting with the experienced prosecutors reviewing the case, the United States Attorney determined that no charges can be filed in this case.
United States Attorney Kurt G. Alme stated, “This case has been a priority for the FBI, the BIA, and this office. Violent deaths are a tragedy, and this incident has had deep impacts on the Crow Tribe and the residents of Lodge Grass. We send our condolences to the entire community.”