BILLINGS — A Lodge Grass man who admitted assaulting a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer, who was pursuing a co-defendant for operating a stolen vehicle in Lodge Grass, on the Crow Indian Reservation, was sentenced today to one year in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Earl Landon Old Chief, Jr., 36, pleaded guilty in September 2022 to assault on a federal officer.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
The government alleged in court documents that on March 14, 2021, BIA officers were pursuing co-defendant Darnell Lee Not Afraid, of Pryor, who was driving a stolen truck at high speeds through residential neighborhoods in Lodge Grass. Not Afraid stopped at a residence, got out of the truck and ran away. The officer pursued on foot into a residential yard as a crowd began to gather and drew his Taser. Not Afraid turned toward the officer and grabbed a revolver from his waistband. The officer dropped his Taser, drew his service pistol and fired multiple times at Not Afraid, striking him at least once in the arm. After the shooting, the crowd, including Old Chief, became angry at the officer and some of the crowd accosted him. It is disputed whether Old Chief threw a bottle at the officer’s head, narrowly missing him, but it is not disputed that Old Chief pointed the officer’s Taser at the officer’s face and then threw it at the officer’s head. The officer did not activate the Taser, but when Old Chief pointed it at him, the officer knew it had been activated because the Taser’s flashlight and red dot were on.
Not Afraid was sentenced earlier to a mandatory minimum five years in prison for pleading guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of assault on a federal officer, a crime of violence. A third co-defendant, Darwyna Caylynn Catherine Bullshows, was sentenced to time served for conviction in the case.
Clair Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer