Texas man admits threatening to shoot neighboring guest while staying at Browning motel on Blackfeet Indian Reservation
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
GREAT FALLS — A Texas man accused of threatening to shoot a neighboring guest while both were staying at a motel in Browning, on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, admitted to a criminal charge today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Ronnie Wayne Bone, 57, of Bastrop, Texas, pleaded guilty to intimidation. Bone faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $50,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for May 29. Bone was released pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that on Aug. 19, 2022, Bone, a non-Indian, was staying at a motel in Browning while on a motorcycling tour with a friend. The victim, identified as John Doe, who is a member of the Blackfeet Indian Tribe, and his family also were staying at the motel. Late that night, an unknown man knocked on the door to Bone’s room and then walked away. Bone, who was intoxicated, came out of his room and immediately started verbally accosting John Doe, who was outside his own room several doors away from Bone’s. Doe, who had been cleaning out his car, tried to explain to Bone that he was not connected to the man who had knocked on Bone’s door. The government further alleged that Bone continued to yell at Doe, telling him that he was from Texas and in Texas they shoot people like him. Bone called Doe racial slurs and then retrieved a .40-caliber pistol. Bone pointed the gun at Doe and his wife, who came outside to see what was happening. Bone continued to spew vitriolic and racist comments while threating to shoot them.
In addition, the government alleged that when law enforcement arrived, officers recovered a pistol loaded with a .40-caliber hollow point bullet from Bone’s room. Bone claimed he was lying in his bed minding his own business when someone started beating on his door and being obnoxious. Bone told officers he grabbed his gun and was like, “hey what’s up dude?” He further claimed Doe used racist comments against him, that he felt threatened and that he did not point the weapon at anyone. Bone’s claims were disputed by several independent witnesses, who saw Bone’s intimidation of Doe and heard his racist comments while threatening Doe.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kalah A. Paisley is prosecuting the case. The Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services, Glacier County Sherriff’s Office, and FBI conducted the investigation.
Clair J. Howard
Public Affairs Officer
Updated January 17, 2024
Press Release Number: 24-19
Indian Country Law and Justice