Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Red Lake man charged federally with assaulting three individuals


MINNEAPOLIS—This week in federal court, an 18-year-old Red Lake man was charged by way of federal criminal complaint with assaulting three individuals on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Micah James Waybenais was charged with three counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

A complaint filed against Waybenais alleges that he assaulted three individuals who are members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. According to the affidavit, Waybenais assaulted the three people in a house on the Circle Pines section of the Red Lake Indian Reservation. All three victims were hospitalized for their injuries. One victim was flown to Fargo, North Dakota, to receive care for a skull fracture and other broken bones. Another victim had a laceration on his neck from a stereo cord that Waybenais allegedly wrapped around his neck. The third victim suffered a fractured bone in her face and extensive blunt force trauma to her head.

If convicted, Waybenais faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison for each count. All sentences are ultimately determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Red Lake

Tribal Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford B. Wardlaw.

Because the Red Lake Indian Reservation is a federal-jurisdiction reservation, some of the crimes that occur there are investigated by the FBI in conjunction with the Red Lake Tribal Police Department. Those cases are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.


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