NewsCrime and Courts


Browning man charged with first-degree murder and sexual abuse of a woman

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 19, 2023

GREAT FALLS — Paul Andrew Vielle of Browning, suspected in the death of a woman on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Great Falls on July 18, 2023, to charges of murder and sexual abuse.

U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said in a news release that Vielle, 58 years old, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree felony murder, second-degree murder, and aggravated sexual abuse.

The indictment alleges that Vielle killed the woman, identified as Jane Doe, by cold exposure, and that he engaged in a sexual act by force against Jane Doe.

It happened on April 22, 2023, near Cut Bank John Coulee in the Meriwether area of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Johnston presided at the plea hearing.

Vielle remains detained pending further proceedings. He faces a mandatory term of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine if convicted of first-degree felony murder.

The news release notes that the indictment is merely an accusation, and Vielle is legally presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.