GREAT FALLS — Shayanna Marie England of Browning, convicted of involuntary manslaughter for hitting and killing Eljay Young Running Crane with her car, was sentenced in federal court in Great Falls on Wednesday.
After a three-day trial in March, a jury convicted England, 21 years old, of involuntary manslaughter.
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris sentenced her to one year and one day in prison followed by three years of supervised release; he also ordered her to pay $3,500 in restitution, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The prosecution presented evidence at trial that England had been drinking and driving throughout the night of January 15, 2018, when she veered into the oncoming southbound lane on BIA Route 1, near the post office, and turned back, striking Running Crane.
The victim, who had been with England and others earlier in the night, had been standing in the northbound land near an intersection. He was carried on top England’s vehicle as it left the road and crashed into a ditch. The victim was taken to the Indian Health Services Clinic in Browning where he died from his injuries.
An investigation determined that England’s vehicle was traveling at approximately 90 miles per hour; the posted speed limit was 35 mph.
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(MARCH 4, 2019) The trial for a Heart Butte woman who is charged in the death of Eljay Young Running Crane began Monday afternoon.
Shayanna England has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
Prosecutor Jeffery Starnes began his opening statement by saying the events from January of 2018 were a series of very bad decisions.
Defense attorney Andrew Hugg said the night was not about out-of-control teens. He said the case comes down to an abusive relationship between England and Young Running Crane.
The first witness called was Tayleigh Calf Boss Ribs, who was in the car when England struck Young Running Crane. Calf Boss Ribs said England picked her up in Browning and they went to Heart Butte for open gym. They ended up at Calf Boss Ribs’ sister’s home, where they drank Crown Royal.
Calf Boss Ribs said at some point, the two left to pick up Young Running Crane because England wanted to hang out with him. The group drove to Browning where England’s cousin bought them a bottle of Black Velvet.
They then went back to Heart Butte and picked up the second witness, Julian Calfrobe. Calf Boss Ribs and Calfrobe said they drove around and drank. Calfrobe said they stopped in a parking lot, but he does not remember much else due to how much he drank.
Calf Boss Ribs said they went to Young Running Crane’s aunt’s house where England and Young Running Crane went inside. Soon, England came out and left with friends. Witnesses said England told them Young Running Crane was acting weird.
They dropped Calfrobe off at his home and started to head back to Browning. Calf Boss Ribs said she was picking a song to listen to and when she looked up, Young Running Crane was in front of the car.
They hit a pile of snow and England had to help Calf Boss Ribs get out of the car because her door was stuck and her lower back hurt. They left the scene and called 911, according to Calf Boss Ribs.
The two responding Blackfeet Law Enforcement officers also testified. They said they immediately noticed the car and saw two men standing next to a fence. They then found Young Running Crane on the ground and he was awake. One officer said he asked Young Running Crane what happened and he reportedly said England hit him with the car.
After the ambulance arrived, the officers spoke with England and Calf Boss Ribs. England told them she was going about 45 miles per hour when she hit a patch of ice and overcorrected. Officers said both England and Calf Boss Ribs told them Young Running Crane jumped in front of the car. They said England also told them she only had three shots that night.
Young Running Crane later died at the hospital.
The trial continues Tuesday and is expected to last for three days.