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Date: 09-17-2021

Case Style:

United States of America v. Antoine Robert Threefingers

Case Number: 1:20-cr-00131-SPW

Judge: Susan P. Watters

Court: United States District Court for the District of Montana (Yellowston County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:


Best Billings Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory


Description: Billings, MT: Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with assault and firearm felonies.

Antoine Robert Threefingers, 37, was found guilty of assault on a federal officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Threefingers faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the assault on federal officer crime and a mandatory minimum of ten years to life imprisonment consecutive to any other sentence on possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

The five-day trial began on Sept. 13.

“The jury rightly rejected Mr. Threefinger’s defense that he was not responsible because he had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Officers’ dashcam video captured a harrowing, high-speed chase of up to 120 mph on a highway and on dirt roads that ended in a shootout. It’s a miracle that nobody got killed. I want to thank all of the federal and state law enforcement officers who placed themselves directly in harm’s way and took extraordinary steps to protect the public by safely ending this incident. I also want to thank the entire trial team for putting forward a compelling case against Threefingers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Johnson.

“Thankfully, no officers or innocent bystanders were hurt when Antoine Threefingers made such a reckless and violent attempt to evade the law, but he will now face the consequences for his crimes,” said Dennis Rice, Special Agent in Charge of the Salt Lake City FBI. “The officers involved put their lives on the line. Rest assured, the FBI and our law enforcement partners will make every effort to keep our communities safe from those who have a blatant disregard for human life.”

In court documents and at trial, the government presented evidence alleging that on Sept. 1, 2020, Threefingers was involved in a high-speed chase on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation that ended in shootout with law enforcement officers in a field near Birney. A Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer, identified as John Doe 1, attempted a routine traffic stop of Threefingers. Threefingers stopped initially but then fled as Doe 1 approached, engaging officers in a pursuit in which speeds exceeded 100 miles per hour and lasted about 20 minutes. Four more officers, including three BIA officers and a Rosebud County Sheriff’s deputy, joined the chase.

As he was driving, Threefingers pulled out a gun and put it to his head before turning the gun on law enforcement. Threefingers pointed his gun out the window, fired a shot at Doe 1 and continued driving. Threefingers eventually led law enforcement to a dirt road near Birney, where he stopped his vehicle and exchanged gunfire with Doe 1. Another BIA officer later exchanged gun fire with Threefingers. Other officers nearby described Threefingers’ shots sailing over their heads but did not fire at Threefingers.

Threefingers attempted to run from his car while continuing to shoot at law enforcement. Officers shot Threefingers, who fell to the ground and continued firing at law enforcement. Threefingers shot at Doe 1, hitting his windshield with a bullet less than a foot from the officer’s head. The officers approached Threefingers, detained him and administered medical care. He was transported to the hospital. Law enforcement recovered a Colt .45-caliber pistol on the ground near Threefingers. Multiple .45-caliber casings were recovered near Threefingers and from his car. Several rounds of .45 ammunition were also found in his car.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bryan T. Dake and Benjamin D. Hargrove are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.

18:111.F ASSAULT ON A FEDERAL OFFICER
(1-2)
18:111.F ASSAULT ON A FEDERAL OFFICER.
(1s-2s)
18:113C.F ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON and 18:1153(a) CRIME ON A RESERVATION.
(3-4)
18:113C.F ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON and 18:1153(a) CRIME ON A RESERVATION.
(3s)
18:924C.F POSSESSION OF A FIREARM IN FURTHERANCE OF A CRIME OF VIOLENCE.
(4s-5s)
18:924C.F POSSESSION OF A FIREARM IN FURTHERANCE OF A CRIME OF VIOLENCE.
(5-6)
21:841A=CD.F POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE METHAMPHETAMINE.
(6s)
21:841A=CD.F POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE METHAMPHETAMINE.
(7)
18:922G.F PROHIBITED PERSON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM .
(7s)
18:922G.F PROHIBITED PERSON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM and CRIMINAL FORFEITURE.
(8)
18:924C.F POSSESSION OF A FIREARM IN FURTHERANCE OF A DRUG TRAFFICKING CRIME and CRIMINAL FORFEITURE.
(8s)

Outcome: MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Judge Susan P. Watters: Jury Trial Day 4 as to Antoine Robert Threefingers held on 9/16/2021. Defendant is present, in custody with Federal Defenders Mark Werner and Van Arvanetes; AUSA Bryan Dake and Benjamin Hargrove appearing for Govt. In Court, continued government rebuttal witness testimony. Government rests (10:23 AM). Defense calls rebuttal witness S/E. Defense rests (11:53 AM). Jury admonished and excused for lunch recess. Instructions settled out of jury presence. In Court, jury present final instructions read and closing arguments made. Alternate juror selected from the wheel, bailiffs come forward, are sworn in and jury begins deliberations at (3:26 PM). Jury note received at 4:45, Counsel present in courtroom to answer note and return to jury. Jury note received at 8:15 PM, counsel present in courtroom to answer the jurys questions. Jury admonished for the evening to return tomorrow at 9:00 AM. Hearing commenced at 9:02 AM and concluded at 8:45 PM. (Court Reporter Rebecca Sabo) (Government Rebuttal Witnesses Sworn and Examined: Dr. Cynthia A. Low, Ph.D. appearing via ZOOM;), (Defense Rebuttal Witnesses Sworn and Examined: Dr. Suzanne R. Best- appearing via ZOOM;), (Hearing held in Billings-SMC) (EMH) (Entered: 09/16/2021)

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