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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Pryor man arrested on allegations of first degree murder

BILLINGS – A Pryor man was arrested Tuesday in Billings by the Billings Police Department on a federal arrest warrant alleging that he murdered a person with premeditation on the Crow Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said today.

A criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday alleges Taylor Leigh Plainbull, 27, committed first degree murder.

Plainbull is scheduled to have an initial appearance on Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

A criminal complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to the criminal complaint and affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Victim 1, an adult female, was driving from Pryor to Billings in a vehicle with Victim 2, and adult male, and Victim 3, a minor child.  Plainbull had previously been in a relationship with Victim 1.  Victim 1 was driving westbound on Highway 416, also known as Blue Creek Road, when she was passed by Plainbull, who was driving eastbound towards Pryor. Plainbull was driving what is believed to be a stolen truck. The owner of the stolen truck reported that it contained firearms, including a semiautomatic pistol.

According to the criminal complaint and affidavit, Plainbull turned around and chased after Victim 1, then passed her vehicle and stepped on the brakes, forcing Victim 1's vehicle off the road into a ditch. The weather was cold and snowy, and Victim 1 was unable to drive the car out of the ditch. Victim 1 locked the doors, while Victim 2 called 911, and at the same time Plainbull approached the car brandishing a pistol.

According to the criminal complaint and affidavit, Victim 2 reported hearing gunshots. Victim 2 sustained an injury to his forehead. Based on a preliminary examination of the scene, it appeared that Victim 1 was struck by at least one bullet. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Victim 3 exited the vehicle. Plainbull grabbed Victim 3 and drove away in the truck. Victim 3 was located later.

The FBI is investigating the case.

PACER case reference. 20-95.

The progress of cases may be monitored through the U.S. District Court Calendar and the PACER system. To establish a PACER account, which provides electronic access to review documents filed in a case, please visit http://www.pacer.gov/register.html. To access the District Court’s calendar, please visit https://ecf.mtd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/PublicCalendar.pl.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated October 27, 2020