BILLINGS – An Ashland man accused of hitting another man in the head with a gun pleaded guilty to assault today, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.
Channing Lee Ziler, 33, pleaded guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm. Ziler faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $ 250,000 and three years of supervised release.
US magistrate judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. Ziler was detained pending further trial. A sentencing date is pending.
In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that on December 31, 2017, officers from the Office of Indian Affairs responded to a 911 call at a residence in Ashland, on the North Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Several people were drinking at the residence, including Ziler. Witnesses described Ziler as being violent that night. The victim, identified as John Doe, arrived at the residence with other people. Witnesses described Ziler as holding a gun when Doe arrived and saying, “Sounds like someone I can slap”. Ziler then hit Doe in the head with the gun.
Ziler took Doe’s truck and drove off with Doe and another person. Law enforcement received another 911 call saying the truck had run out of gas and Ziler had set it on fire to keep warm in subzero temperatures. Ziler left the scene with the other individual, and law enforcement found Doe near the truck. Doe was taken to a Billings hospital for treatment of her injuries.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Dake is continuing the case, which has been investigated by the FBI.