United States Attorney for Wyoming Mark Klaassen announced Wednesday that 27-year-old Ashley Rose Yellowbear, 37-year-old Samuel Harold Friday, 26-year-old Kristen Jade Antelope, and 27-year-old Rusty Tso Tabaho, all residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation, were recently indicted by a federal grand jury on for Kidnapping and Aiding and Abetting.
According to information from the Department of Justice, Yellowbear and Friday were also indicted for Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to do Bodily Harm. Klaassen said that even in times of crisis, “we must continue to enforce the law and protect our communities.” Klaassen added that violent crime is a top priority for his office and they are working to address violence on the reservations and across Wyoming.
The Indictment alleges that on or about January 1, of this year, the defendants knowingly and unlawfully kidnapped a woman and a man for the purpose of assault and intimidating them to prevent reporting these acts. According to the charges, the defendants knowingly aided and abetted each other in committing the kidnapping offense. The Indictment further alleges that Yellowbear and Friday each assaulted one of the victims with a dangerous weapon, a tire-iron.
The maximum penalty upon conviction for kidnapping and aiding and abetting is up to life in federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines. The maximum penalty of assault with a deadly weapon is up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. All of the defendants had their initial appearance before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl on Wednesday. Judge Skavdahl remanded the defendants to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending a detention and arraignment hearing scheduled for this upcoming Monday. The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Wind River Police Department.