GREAT FALLS, Mont. (NMB) – Two Box Elder residents were arraigned in U.S. District Court on Monday on five felony charges based on an incident that is alleged to have occurred in March 2019.
Tabitha Gopher and Leon Houle both pleaded not guilty to the charges of assault with intent to commit murder, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
The Grand Jury indictments allege that on March 17th, 2019, on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation, Gopher and Houle “intentionally assaulted (a male victim) by striking and wounding him, with the intent to commit murder, and aided and abetted the same.”
For the kidnapping charge, they are alleged to have “intentionally and unlawfully seized, confined, inveigled, kidnapped, abducted, carried away, and held (the victim) for ransom, reward, and otherwise, and aided and abbeted the same.”
For the assault with a dangerous weapon charge, they are alleged to have, “knowingly and unlawfully, with intent thereby to do bodily harm, assault (the male victim) with a dangerous weapon, a shotgun, and aided and abetted the same.”
For the assault resulting in serious bodily injury charge, they are alleged to have, “intentionally assaulted (the male victim) resulting in serious bodily injury, and aided and abetted the same.”
According to court documents, Houle and Gopher were taken into custody by Deputy U.S. Marshals on Monday in Box Elder. Houle was taken into federal custody from the Rocky Boy Jail, while a specific location in Box Elder where Gopher was taken into custody from is not listed.
There are no further details of the incident in publicly available court documents.
Both defendants remain in federal custody, and their court cases are being dealt with separately.
If convicted, the defendants face sentences that range from 10 years imprisonment for the assault resulting in bodily injury charge to life imprisonment for the kidnapping charge.