Criminal Justice News

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Michael Bryant, Jr. Sentenced in U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on May 9, 2012 before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, Michael Bryant, Jr., a 48-year-old resident of Lame Deer and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Indians, appeared for sentencing. Bryant was sentenced to a term of:

■Prison: 46 months
■Special assessment: $200
■Supervised release: three years

Bryant was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to two domestic assaults by a habitual offender.

In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vince Carroll, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On February 28, 2011, the first victim was living with Bryant in Birney, on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Bryant grabbed the victim and dragged her off their bed onto the floor. Bryant then pulled her hair, repeatedly punched and kicked her, and bit her fingers. Bryant then threatened her that if she told anyone what had happened, he would hurt her.

On May 7, 2011, another victim was living with Bryant in Birney. Bryant woke the victim by yelling at her because he could not find his truck keys. Bryant proceeded to choke the victim until she almost passed out.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Bryant will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Bryant does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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