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Press Release

Man Found Guilty Of Stabbing Three Women In Poplar

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

The United States Attorney's Office today announced that after less than an hour of deliberation, a federal jury has found 31-year-old Robert Lewis Burshia guilty of stabbing three women at a residence in Poplar, Montana on March 6, 2013. Following a day and half long trial before U.S. District Court judge Brian M. Morris, the jury convicted Burshia of all four counts in the indictment: three counts of assault with a a dangerous weapon, and one count assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

At trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Weiss presented evidence that on the evening of March 6, 2013, Burshia appeared at a residence in Poplar where he asked to use the bathroom. Burshia then joined three women at the residence who were sharing a bottle of Black Velvet. He left, then returned fifteen minutes later, having told one of the women he was using meth and wanted to drink. As two of the women were eating spagetti, Burshia took a shot from the bottle in the kitchen and began making claiming that the bottle of Black Velvet belonged to him. Burshia then pulled up his hood, put his hand in the pocket of his hoodie and pulled out a knife. Burshia then stabbed one of the women. A second woman tried to protect the first assault victim and Burshia stabbed her as well. The two women then ran from the house and hid in the garage. Burshia, who had been in the house before, went straight back to the bedroom where the third woman was sleeping with two young children, ages six and seven. Burshia kicked the door in and stabbed the third woman as she draped her body over the children to try to protect them. He then fled the house and was located by law enforcement a few doors down.

The three women were transported by ambulance to the emergency room. The first woman who was stabbed had to be transported to Billings, due to the severity of her injuries. It is estimated that she lost 10 percent of her blood. In surgery, the doctor located a stab wound that went directly into her stomach. Part of her stomach had to be removed in order to staple shut the stab wound.

Burshia faces a possible penalty on each of the four counts of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervised release. The terms of imprisonment on each count could run consecutively.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice.

Updated January 14, 2015