The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Butte on April 26, 2012 before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, Ronald Glenn Keiser, III, a 37-year-old resident of Wolf Point, pled guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Sentencing has been set for August 2, 2012. He is currently detained.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
During the evening of Friday, August 19, 2011, a bar in Nashua hosted a bike rally. Activities at the bar throughout the evening included a disc jockey, a pole dancer, a beer drinking contest, and a hot legs contest. Keiser, an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Tribes, showed up at the bar that night. Witnesses saw Keiser staggering around the bar and drinking beer. Keiser left the bar by himself a little before 10:30 p.m. and drove away in his pickup truck.
At 11:23 p.m. on August 19, 2011, the first call to dispatch came in regarding a car crash on Highway 2 just east of Frazer, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. A witness drove up on scene and saw a head-on collision had recently occurred between a pickup truck and a suburban. Both cars were steaming. A man, later identified as Keiser, still sat in the driver’s seat of the truck, while the driver of the suburban had just gotten out and had lain on the ground. The witness saw two people trapped in the suburban. She checked on a male passenger seated in the front passenger seat. The man seemed to still be breathing. She then checked on the other male passenger seated in the right rear passenger seat directly behind the front passenger. He was dead. The witness immediately checked on the front passenger again, and he had stopped breathing.
Emergency crews arrived at 11:37 p.m. Keiser sat uninjured on the side of the road with his head in his hands. The grill guard from Keiser’s truck was embedded in the middle of the right passenger side of the suburban. The passengers in the suburban were confirmed deceased.
Keiser’s blood alcohol content shortly after the crash was a 0.182. He was the only person in his truck at the time of the crash. Police found an open can of beer in the driver’s door panel in Keiser’s truck. They also found two partially filled cases of beer behind the driver’s seat in the truck—one six-pack and one 18-pack.
Keiser faces possible penalties of eight years in prison on each count, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division, and the Montana Highway Patrol.