Ashland man admits assaulting person with gun on Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation | USAO-MT

BILLINGS — An Ashland man accused of hitting another man in the head with a gun pleaded guilty to an assault charge today, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.

Channing Lee Ziler, 33, pleaded guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm. Ziler faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of probation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. Ziler has been detained pending further prosecution. A sentencing date is pending.

In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that on December 31, 2017, Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers responded to a 911 call at a residence in Ashland, N. Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Several people were drinking at the residence, including Ziler. Witnesses described Ziler as being violent that night. The victim, identified as John Doe, arrived at the residence with other individuals. Witnesses described Ziler as holding a gun when Doe arrived and saying, “That looks like someone I can slap.” Ziler then hit Doe in the head with the rifle.

Ziler took Doe’s truck and drove off with Doe and one other person. Law enforcement received another 911 call saying the truck had run out of gas and that Ziler had set it on fire to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures. Ziler left the scene with the other individual and law enforcement found Doe near the truck. Doe was taken to a hospital in Billings for treatment of his injuries.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Dake is prosecuting the case, which has been investigated by the FBI.

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Nohemi M. Moore