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Pryor man found guilty of head butting and punching man on Crow reservation

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Posted at 2:53 PM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 16:53:33-05

A Pryor man was convicted Wednesday on federal charges of head-butting and punching a man in the face on the Crow reservation in February.

Joseph Nathan Smells, 34, was found guilty in federal court in Billings of assault resulting in serious bodily injury, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said in a news release.

Prosecutors said the assault occured Feb. 13 after the victims and two others returned to Pryor from Billings following a basketball game. The group saw Smells and another man in the victim's house with the door kicked in and told them to leave.

Smells argued with one man in the group, who tried to call police. Smells then walked to the vehicle, spoke briefly to the victim inside, then ripped the door open and assaulted him, prosecutors said.

The attack caused multiple facial injuries that required surgery.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watter presided over the trial and set sentencing for March 18, 2020. Smells is being held in jail.