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Pryor man sentenced to prison for beating elderly man

Posted at 2:39 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 16:39:11-04

A Pryor man was sentenced in Billings to four-and-a-half year in federal prison Wednesday for beating an elderly man on the Crow reservation in February 2019.

Joseph Nathan Smells, 34, was convicted in November of assault resulting in serious bodily injury, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme. He must also serve three years supervised release.

Prosecutors stated that Smells head-butted and punched the elderly man , causing multiple facial injuries that required surgery.

The incident happened Feb. 13, 2019, after the victim and others were returning to Pryor from Billings for a basketball game. They saw Smells and another man had broken into the victim's house, and the driver stopped to talk with him.

As the driver tried to call police, Smells went to the vehicle, yelled at the victim, then assaulted him, according to prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided over the sentencing.