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Three W.S. men receive sentences

In federal court in Portland


by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS - Jess Homer Stevens III (left) and Robert Lee Howe, both of Warm Springs, were sentenced in February in federal court in Portland in separate cases.Several Warm Springs residents were sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Portland in February.

On Feb. 19, Robert Lee Howe, 33, was sentenced to over three years in prison for a knife attack in April 2013.

According to Craig Gabriel, assistant U.S. attorney, the incident occurred on the Warm Springs Reservation on April 16, 2013.

"While high on methamphetamine, and without provocation, Mr. Howe stabbed the male victim repeatedly with a knife," said Gabriel. "When the knife blade broke, the defendant grabbed a screwdriver and continued to stab the victim."

The victim, a friend of Howe's, suffered serious injuries to his neck and right lung, which collapsed as a result of the assault.

"After the assault, somebody asked Mr. Howe why he stabbed his friend. He replied by saying the victim had 'snitched him out' and 'sold him out,' but the defendant was delusional and the victim had not informed against Mr. Howe with the police in any way," said Gabriel, noting that the incident was close to being a homicide.

Judge Michael Simon sentenced Howe to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release for assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm.

Also on Feb. 19, U.S. District Court Judge Anna J. Brown sentenced Aaron James Hunt, 25, to one year and a day in prison for escape and supervised release violations.

According to Craig Gabriel, assistant U.S. attorney, Hunt was convicted in 2008 of involuntary manslaughter for a 2007 crash that killed a 17-year-old passenger. Hunt was intoxicated at the time of the crash, which occurred near the tribal fish hatchery, off Highway 3, on the Warm Springs Reservation.

Hunt went to prison for 13 months, followed by three years of supervised release, which he violated on three separate occasions, Gabriel said.

The first time, he was continued on probation; the second time, sentenced to six months; and the third time, sentenced to an additional nine months.

"At the end of that nine-month jail sentence, he was permitted to finish at a halfway house," said Gabriel. "In January 2012, he left the halfway house without permission and absconded.

Hunt was arrested in Warm Springs in February, and charged with escape. "He pleaded guilty to the escape charge and was originally sentenced to six additional months in prison and two more years of supervised release," said Gabriel. "He eventually fled, and a warrant was issued on Nov. 19, 2013."

On Dec. 13, 2013, Hunt was arrested in Warm Springs and transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Office and his supervised release was revoked.

On Feb. 19, Judge Anna J. Brown sentenced Hunt to an additional year of prison.

"Mr. Hunt paid a heavy price for failing to comply with the orders of a federal judge," said Gabriel.

Jess Homer Stevens III, 29, fled and attempted to elude a police officer on the Warm Springs reservation in June 2013. He pleaded guilty on Nov. 14, 2013.

On Feb. 20, Judge Michael Mosman sentenced Stevens to time served, which amounted to over eight months, followed by three years of supervised release.

Stevens was pulled over by a Warm Springs police officer on June 3, 2013, and couldn’t provide any identification.

"However, the officer learned that Mr. Stevens had an outstanding warrant for his arrest," said Gabriel. "The officer then ordered Mr. Stevens out of the car. Mr. Stevens instead put his car in gear and said, 'I have a warrant; I can’t go back to jail,' and sped away."

Warm Springs officers pursed Stevens, who drove at speeds up to 90 mph, and then drove his car to a remote road, abandoned the vehicle and ran away. He was arrested four days later.

"Eluding the police, especially at high rate of speed, is incredibly dangerous for the whole community," said Gabriel.



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