Assault with a bat sends Wolf Point man to prison for 54 months

1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

GREAT FALLS  — A Fort Peck Indian Reservation man who admitted to aiding in attacking a man in the head with a bat was sentenced today to 54 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Rick John Morales, Jr., 32, who resides in both Wolf Point and Poplar, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to assault resulting in serious bodily injury, aiding and abetting.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris also ordered $13,505 restitution to be joint and several with the codefendant.

In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that Morales aided and abetted codefendant Harry B. Azure in assaulting the victim, identified as John Doe, on Nov. 19, 2019, in Wolf Point. John Doe called 911 for medical assistance and told a responding tribal officer that three individuals kicked in the door to his residence, struck him multiple times in the head with a small baseball bat and left. Doe ultimately was flown to a Billings hospital where staff determined the victim had a severe traumatic brain injury. The victim later told law enforcement that the assault occurred days after an incident involving Morales. Azure was sentenced previously to 32 months in prison for conviction in the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Johnson, prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Fort Peck Tribal Police.

XXX