Red Lake Man Convicted After Jury Trial of Stabbing His Cousin on the Red Lake Indian Reservation
United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the conviction of BENJAMIN ONE DEER HART, 28, an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, for stabbing one of his cousins and attempting to stab another cousin on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. On April 7, 2015, following a two-day trial, a federal jury deliberated for only 50 minutes before finding HART guilty of the entire indictment against him, which included two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
As proven at trial, on the morning of July 10, 2014, HART got into an argument with three of his cousins and his aunt at the defendant’s father’s house on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Hart and his family members were arguing that HART should leave the house because he was not welcome there. During the argument, HART refused to leave and pulled a knife from a wooden knife block in the kitchen. While the cousins were trying to disarm him, HART attempted to stab one of his cousins. A second cousin intervened to protect the first and HART stabbed him in the stomach. The victim had to have surgery to repair the stab wound and was hospitalized for several days.
“Violence in Indian Country continues at a more aggressive pace than in other parts of Minnesota,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw. “Aggressively prosecuting these kinds of cases is an important tool for reducing such violence.”
Because the Red Lake Indian Reservation is an exclusive federal criminal jurisdiction reservation, some of the crimes that occur there are investigated by the FBI in conjunction with the Red Lake Tribal Police Department. Those cases are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
This case resulted from an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.
- BENJAMIN ONE DEER HART, 28
- Red Lake, Minn.
- Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, 2 counts
- Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, 1 count