PORTLAND, Ore.— A 23-year-old resident of the Umatilla Indian Reservation was sentenced to federal prison today for repeatedly striking a fellow resident of the reservation with his fists, causing the person’s death.
Tom Redhawk Tias was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.
According to court documents, on January 26, 2021, Tias contacted law enforcement to report an unresponsive adult. Officers responded to the scene on the reservation and located the victim who was deceased. Multiple witnesses interviewed by officers said that Tias said he hit the victim. Tias told police that he and the victim fought after the victim struck Tias with a branch. Tias admitted to law enforcement that he continued striking the victim after the victim fell to the ground.
On February 10, 2021, Tias was charged by criminal complaint with voluntary manslaughter. Later, on March 16, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland indicted Tias on the same charge. On December 14, 2022, he pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI and Umatilla Tribal Police Department. It was prosecuted by Pamela Paaso, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.