BILLINGS — A man admitted murder and firearms charges today in the fatal shooting of a woman and injury of a passenger in her vehicle along Blue Creek Road on the Crow Indian Reservation, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.
Taylor Leigh Plain Bull, 27, a transient, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and to use of a firearm during a crime of violence as charged in an amended superseding information. Plain Bull faces life in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the murder charge, and a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison consecutive to any other term of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearm charge.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. Judge Watters set sentencing for July 23. Plain Bull was detained.
In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that on Oct. 24, 2020, the victim, identified as Jane Doe, was driving from Pryor to Billings with a passenger, identified as John Doe, in the front passenger seat, and a child in the back seat. While Jane Doe was driving westbound on Blue Creek Road, she was passed by Plain Bull, who was driving a stolen truck eastbound toward Pryor. Plain Bull previously had been in a dating relationship with Jane Doe. The truck had been reported stolen in Billings and contained four firearms, including a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol.
The government alleged that after passing Jane Doe, Plain Bull turned around and chased after her. He passed her car, drove to the top of a hill, and stopped sideways on the roadway, blocking the road. Plain Bull got out of the truck and pointed a gun at Jane Doe’s approaching car. Jane Doe stopped, told John Doe that it was Plain Bull and put her car in reverse. Plain Bull got back in the truck and ultimately forced Jane Doe’s car off the road into the ditch. Jane Doe was unable to drive out of the ditch because of snowy conditions.
The government further alleged that Jane Doe locked the car doors as Plain Bull approached the passenger side of the car with a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. Plain Bull knocked on the passenger window and asked John Doe who he was. John Doe told Plain Bull to remain calm. Plain Bull fired two shots. The first shot shattered the window and lodged in the dashboard. Plain Bull then reached in and put the gun to John Doe’s temple. John Doe sustained an injury to his temple. The second bullet struck Jane Doe, who was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical responders.
Plain Bull drove away from the scene with the child and dropped the child off at another location. He called 911 after the shootings at least twice screaming that it was an accident and requesting an ambulance. The government said that according to Plain Bull, he passed Jane Doe, she saw him and tried to pull over because he was going to give her money but ended up in the ditch because of the slippery roads. When Plain Bull approached the car, John Doe started giving him grief, he tried to pistol whip him, and the gun went off.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Suek is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.