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Press Release

Johnny Ray Rowland Sentenced In U.S. District Court

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

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on February 22, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JOHNNY RAY ROWLAND, a 38-year-old resident of Lame Deer and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, appeared for sentencing. ROWLAND was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 46 months
  • Special Assessment: $200
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

ROWLAND was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to assault with a deadly weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On June 21, 2012, the victim was giving a neighbor a ride home to Muddy Cluster, when he was confronted by the neighbor's husband, ROWLAND. The confrontation stemmed from a tussle over a bottle of alcohol. The neighbor tried to take a bottle of alcohol from the car. When the victim tried to stop her, she yelled and got the attention of ROWLAND. The victim was sitting in the passenger front seat when ROWLAND approached the car and punched the victim in the head with brass knuckles. ROWLAND continued to punch the victim in the head and face area with the brass knuckles, yelling threats and his intent to kill the victim. DNA extracted from blood recovered from the interior of the car matches the victim's DNA.

The victim ultimately got out of the car to defend himself. At this point, ROWLAND pulled out a knife and slashed the victim on his head and below his chin. The victim eventually fell to the ground and ROWLAND kicked the victim a few times while he was lying on the ground.

The victim sought medical treatment for his injuries that meet the definition of serious bodily injury.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that ROWLAND will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, ROWLAND does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated January 14, 2015