GREAT FALLS — Taylor Gardipee Walker of Harlem was sentenced in federal court in Great Falls on Thursday for the death of a woman in an ATV crash.
Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said in a news release that Walker, 23 years old, pleaded guilty on October 28, 2020, to involuntary manslaughter. He admitted drinking and then driving a four-wheeler that crashed, killing his passenger, on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.
Prosecutors said that on December 31, 2019 and into the early morning hours on January 1, 2020, Walker was drinking to the point of intoxication. At about 3 a.m., Walker and the victim, identified in court documents only as Jane Doe, went for a ride on a four-wheeler on Rodeo Drive, with Walker driving. Walker lost control of the ATV, causing it to roll over and sending him and the victim onto the pavement. Walker was seen leaving the scene on foot.
Law enforcement officers and emergency responders arrived and found the victim unresponsive. The victim ultimately was taken to a Great Falls hospital, where she died from her injuries later that day.
Officers found Walker’s wallet at the scene and began knocking on doors of homes in the area associated with Walker. Officers found Walker hiding in a bedroom closet of a residence.
Walker, who had blood on his clothing and abrasions on his hands, was arrested for failing to report an accident. After initially saying he was not the driver, Walker admitted that he had been driving the ATV and lost control and crashed. The investigation determined that Walker had a blood alcohol concentration of .0145 percent about three and a half hours after the crash.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided and sentenced Walker to 16 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release. Morris also ordered restitution of $375.