CUT BANK, Mont.
- Nov. 18, 2017
-- Victor Vielle and David "Josh" RedHead we're childhood friends. On October 6, 2012 RedHead was murdered. Victor Vielle was charged and convicted of RedHead's murder.
Victor Vielle was 31 at the time of the murder and RedHead was 33.
Vielle was sentenced to 170 months fedreal prison sentence and 5 years of federal probatIon. At sentencing US District Court Judge BrIan Morris said, "too often, life is cheap on the reservation,"
"I'm not sure how to change that, but promoting respect the law is a small start."
Vielle's Mother has hired a private attorney to handle the lengthy appeals process to fight for the freedom of her son. The law firm hired chief investigator Elizabeth Fuller.
Native Americans are typically prosecuted under federal law for serious offenses committed on reservations, Fuller said. Fuller further stated, state punishments for the same crime tend to be lighter.
In the past 5 years alone, the number of Native Americans incarcerated in federal prison has increased by 27%. Native Americans compose 60% of federal caseloads, but only 8.5% of total population.
Native Americans are incarcerated at a rate 38% higher than the national average, acccording to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Mostly all Native American cases are handled by public defenders whom usually get plea deals. With Vielle's mother hiring a private lawyer this will be one of the first Native American cases to be represented by a private attorney and Verdict challenged.