Home Salt Lake City Press Releases 2012 Johnny Ray Rowland Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

Johnny Ray Rowland Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 21, 2012
  • District of Montana (406) 657-6101

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on November 21, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, Johnny Ray Rowland, a 38-year-old resident of Lame Deer, pled guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sentencing has been set for February 22, 2013. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On June 21, 2012, the victim was giving a neighbor a ride home to Muddy Cluster when he was confronted by the neighbor’s husband, Rowland. The confrontation stemmed from a tussle over a bottle of alcohol. The neighbor tried to take a bottle of alcohol from the car. When the victim tried to stop her, she yelled and got the attention of Rowland. The victim was sitting in the passenger front seat when Rowland approached the car and punched the victim with brass knuckles in the head. Rowland continued to punch the victim in the head and face area with the brass knuckles, yelling threats and his intent to kill the victim. DNA extracted from blood recovered from the interior of the car matches the victim’s DNA.

The victim ultimately got out of the car to defend himself. At this point, Rowland pulled out a knife and slashed the victim on his head and below his chin. The victim eventually fell to the ground, and Rowland kicked the victim a few times while he was lying on the ground.

The victim sought medical treatment for his injuries that meet the definition of serious bodily injury.

Rowland is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

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

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