Two women sentenced to prison for armed robbery of Billings casino
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
Loaded firearms discarded on elementary school property
BILLINGS — Two women who admitted to stealing liquor at gunpoint from a Billings casino, firing a warning shot while fleeing and discarding two loaded firearms on elementary school property were sentenced this week to prison terms, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Makyla Shayd Fetter, 28, of Harlem, was sentenced on Dec. 14 to 10 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $745 restitution. Fetter pleaded guilty in August to robbery affecting commerce, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in a school zone.
Co-defendant Taliah Jeneane Ramirez, 22, of Billings, was sentenced today to seven years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $745 restitution. Ramirez pleaded guilty in August to robbery affecting commerce, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and possession of a firearm in a school zone.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
“As we continue to combat gun violence in Billings, everyone should take notice that if you use a gun while committing a crime, you will be aggressively prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice. Not only did one of these defendants discharge a gun during this robbery, but the defendants unconscionably used a playground to ditch the guns while trying to evade law enforcement. As shown by these sentences to prison, they did not succeed,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.
The government alleged in court documents that on March 20, Fetter and Ramirez entered the Magic Diamond Casino in the Billings Heights, and Fetter removed five bottles of Southern Comfort liquor from a shelf. When an employee asked to see Fetter’s identification, Fetter pulled out a loaded pistol, pointed it at the clerk and said, “here’s your (obscenity) ID.” As the defendants escaped in a vehicle, Ramirez took out a pistol and fired a round into the air. A high-speed pursuit with law enforcement ensued before officers stopped to avoid risks to civilians. The defendants’ vehicle crashed after going through a fence at Ponderosa Elementary School, and both women discarded their loaded guns on the school grounds. Officers found one of the firearms. The next day, a student found the second firearm and notified a faculty member. Both firearms were determined to have been stolen.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin M. Rubich prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Billings Police Department and Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.
Clair Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer
Updated December 16, 2022
Project Safe Neighborhoods