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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sonny Lionel Crazymule Sentenced In U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on September 16, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, SONNY LIONEL CRAZYMULE, a 34-year-old resident of Lame Deer, was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 71 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

CRAZYMULE was sentenced after a federal district court trial in which he was found guilty of aiding and abetting assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek prosecuted the case for the United States.

At trial, the following evidence and testimony was presented to the jury.

On the evening of November 16, 2011, the victim was in a tent with a woman in the yard of his mother's home in Lame Deer, which is within the exterior boundaries. The victim heard someone approach the tent and tell him that another woman "S.S." wanted to talk to him. The victim had made plans to be with "S.S." that night, but the victim had not showed up. The victim tried to get out of the tent, and he did get the tent door unzipped, but he was immediately struck in the head with something. The victim did not see who struck him. He lost consciousness, almost immediately, and he did not wake up until later.

The victim's brother was sleeping in the mother's home. He woke up when he heard a commotion outside of the house, and he saw two figures walking away.

After the assault, CRAZYMULE went to the house of "X.X.". CRAZYMULE was covered in blood and told "X.X." that he thought he killed someone. CRAZYMULE then took a shower and changed his clothes.

A few days later on December 1, 2011, CRAZYMULE approached two friends of "Z.Z.'s" at the Cheyenne depot, the local convenience store. CRAZYMULE told them to tell "Z.Z." that "Z.Z." better take the blame for the assault because he is a juvenile.

CRAZYMULE was interviewed. He initially denied any involvement in the assault and refused to admit that he was even at the location of the assault. He then changed his story and admitted that he was present, but he portrayed "Z.Z." as the aggressor. CRAZYMULE claimed that he had to jump on the victim to protect him from "Z.Z.'s" blows. CRAZYMULE also said that "Z.Z." struck the victim with a folding chair three or four times and that during this time he was on the victim protecting him from the blows.

Z.Z." was interviewed. He admitted that he walked to the victim's tent with CRAZYMULE and "S.S.". He asserted that both he and CRAZYMULE assaulted the victim, but it was CRAZYMULE who "went in and beat [the victim]." "Z.Z." admits that he hit the victim with a chair.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that CRAZYMULE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, CRAZYMULE does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

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

Updated January 14, 2015