us district court

SPOKANE – A Spokane man was sentenced to five years in federal prison for beating and stabbing his girlfriend near Owhi Lake and Nespelem on the Colville Indian Reservation.

Tommie Joe Flett, 47, a Colville tribal member, pleaded guilty July 18 to domestic assault by a habitual offender in Indian Country. He was sentenced Sept. 27 by Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

After Flett is released from prison, he must serve a three-year term of court supervision, said William D. Hyslop, U.S. attorney for the eastern district.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on the evening of July 11, 2018, Flett traveled with his girlfriend to Owhi Lake. While there, Flett became upset with his girlfriend, pulled her out of a car and hit her several times in the face.

Flett’s girlfriend, who was not named, got away and walked several miles to Nespelem, where Flett found her and again began striking her in the face, according to court records.

He then brandished a knife and stabbed the woman multiple times in her leg and hands.

A third-party intervened, protecting the girlfriend from further physical harm, records said.

At the time of the assault, Flett had multiple prior convictions for assault against a spouse or intimate partner, making him a habitual offender under federal law.

“The sentence imposed by the court removes a serial abuser from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may choose to engage in such criminal activity,” said Hyslop.

He said his office, the FBI and the Colville Confederated Tribes “are committed to investigating and prosecuting violent crimes occurring in the exterior boundaries of the Colville Indian Reservation.”

The case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the FBI and tribal police. This case was prosecuted by Richard R. Barker and Alison L. Gregoire, assistant U.S. attorneys for the eastern district.

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