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Morales Admits Aiding Assault Of Man In Head With Bat

A Fort Peck Indian Reservation man suspected of aiding in attacking a man in the head with a bat in Wolf Point, on the reservation, admitted to an assault crime on Tuesday, Nov. 16, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Rick John Morales Jr., 32, who resides in both Wolf Point and Poplar, pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury, aiding and abetting. Morales faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris set sentencing for March 24, 2022. Morales was detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that Morales aided and abetted co-defendant Harry B. Azure in assaulting the victim, identified as John Doe, on Nov. 19, 2019, in Wolf Point. John Doe called 911 for medical assistance and told a responding tribal officer that three individuals kicked in the door to his residence, struck him multiple times in the head with a small baseball bat and left. Doe initially was treated at a Wolf Point hospital then flown to Billings because of the severity of his injuries. The victim later told law enforcement the assault occurred days after an incident involving Morales.

Azure pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury and is pending sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy A. Johnson is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice.

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