Four residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation have been charged with kidnapping-related crimes in U.S. District Court, according to court records and a prepared statement from U.S. District Attorney Mark Klaassen.
On March 18, the federal grand jury indicted Ashley Rose Yellowbear, 27; Samuel Harold Friday, 37; Kristen Jade Antelope, 26; and Rusty Tso Tabaho, Sr., 27, on kidnapping and aiding and abetting charges.
The grand jury also indicted Yellowbear and Friday for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to do bodily harm, according to court records.
They made their initial appearances before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl on March 25, and entered not guilty pleas at their arraignments last week. Skavdahl ordered them detained by the U.S. Marshals Service.
A trial date has not yet been set.
The Indictment alleges that on or about Jan. 1, the defendants kidnapped a woman and a man for the purpose of assault and intimidating them to prevent reporting these acts.
Yellowbear, Friday, Antelope and Tabaho kknowingly aided and abetted each other in the crime. The indictment further alleges that Yellowbear and Friday each assaulted one of the victims with a tire iron.
Conviction of kidnapping and aiding and abetting is up to life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, five years of probation, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. The court also may order restitution.
Conviction of assault with a deadly weapon is up to 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, $100 to the crime victims fund, and possible restitution.
Klaassen said in the prepared statement that violent crime is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indian Country and across Wyoming. “These efforts require partnerships at every level to effectively investigate and prosecute these crimes.”
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Wind River Police Department.
The charges are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.