GREAT FALLS — Rick John Morales, Jr., a Fort Peck Indian Reservation man suspected of aiding in attacking a man in the head with a bat in Wolf Point, admitted in federal court in Great Falls on Tuesday to an assault crime.
U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said in a news release that Morales, 32 years old,, who resides in both Wolf Point and Poplar, pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury, aiding and abetting.
Court documents allege that Morales aided and abetted co-defendant Harry B. Azure in assaulting the victim, identified as John Doe, on November 19, 2019, in Wolf Point.
Doe called 911 for medical assistance and told a responding tribal officer that three individuals kicked in the door to his residence, hit him numerous times in the head with a small baseball bat, and left.
Doe initially was treated at a Wolf Point hospital then flown to Billings due to the severity of his injuries.
The victim later told law enforcement officers that the assault occurred days after an incident involving Morales.
Azure pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury and is pending sentencing.
Morales faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided and set sentencing for March 24, 2022. Morales remains in custody pending further proceedings.