Home Salt Lake City Press Releases 2010 James Duane Smith Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

James Duane Smith Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 02, 2010
  • District of Montana (406) 657-6101

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on December 2, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JAMES DUANE SMITH, a 38-year-old resident of Wolf Point, pled guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon. Sentencing has been set for March 10, 2011. 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 April 7, 2010, SMITH, his girlfriend, the victim (a 55-year-old male), and the victim's girlfriend were all cooking dinner at the victim's house in Wolf Point.

Around 8:00 p.m., SMITH and his girlfriend were cooking food and arguing in the kitchen. The victim and his girlfriend were sitting in the living room watching television. The victim smelled food burning and yelled at SMITH to watch what he was doing and not burn anything.

SMITH then grabbed a knife from the kitchen and ran into the living room and attacked the victim with the knife. The two women tried to get SMITH to stop attacking the victim, and the victim's girlfriend called 911 when she saw the victim bleeding profusely.

SMITH left the house and tried to give the knife to the victim's girlfriend as he was leaving. She would not take the knife, so SMITH dropped the knife into a mop bucket by the back door as he left the house. The knife was later recovered from the mop bucket, and was approximately eight inches long with what looked like blood on the knife.

The victim was taken to the emergency room in Wolf Point where he was treated for a knife cut to his lower chin, two puncture wounds on his left shoulder and arm, a laceration to his cheek, and various bruises.

SMITH faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years' supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.