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Man to serve 41 months for role in fatal wreck

Aug 10, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced a Wind River Indian Reservation man to 41 months in prison related to a fatal drunken driving crash that happened in Fort Washakie in 2011.

U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer also ordered Michael Terry Hill, 36, to serve two years of supervised release and pay $3,837 in restitution.

In charging documents filed May 4, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Wyoming accused Hill of one count of involuntary manslaughter for the crash that killed Ryan T. Burnett.

Burnett, 34, of Fort Washakie, was the passenger in a one-vehicle rollover that happened at about 3:50 p.m. July 5, 2011, on Trout Creek Road.

The charge accused the Eastern Shoshone tribal member of driving under the influence of alcohol during the crash.

Hill was on three years of supervised release at the time from a previous conviction of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily injury and aiding and abetting.

A petition to revoke his probation filed July 15, 2011, cited police reports from the Bureau of Indian Affairs concerning the crash.

The petition stated that Hill drove at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his vehicle and went into a barrow ditch. The vehicle rolled multiple times in the crash.

A portable breath test given by tribal police showed Hill's alcohol level at .116, more than the state's legal driving limit of .08, according to the petition.

Hill at the time allegedly admitted to driving and consuming alcohol. An officer cited him for multiple violations including aggravated reckless driving and operating a vehicle under the influence.

A plea agreement in Hill's involuntary manslaughter case surfaced May 3 in federal court, and he pleaded guilty to the charge the following day in Cheyenne.

Under terms of the plea agreement, the prosecution requested dismissal of the petition to revoke Hill's probation at his sentencing.

Brimmer recommended Hill serve his sentence in Sheridan, Ore., and participate in the U.S. Bureau of Prison's 500-hour residential drug treatment program.

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