Keith Allen Smith wed his bride on June 24. Hours later, he beat her inside a car as they drove around the Wind River Indian Reservation.
The woman suffered a broken nose that required surgery to correct. She escaped only after jumping out of the car while it was traveling at an estimated
40 mph, said John Powell, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Wyoming.
Smith had only recently left prison. He’s headed back for an eight-year stint after a federal judge in Cheyenne sentenced him this week for the assault, court records show.
The 37-year-old Northern Arapahoe tribal member had earlier pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. His attorney, Daniel Blythe, was unavailable for comment.
Smith and his bride developed a relationship through the social media site Facebook. It began about six or seven months before the beating while he was serving time in federal prison for another assault. He tried to move his probation to Oregon so he could be near her, Powell said.
Federal authorities did not allow the move to Oregon, so Smith wired the woman money so she could move to the reservation in anticipation of his release from prison.
The night of the couple’s wedding, they visited a bar and also traveled around the reservation drinking at different places, Powell said. They started arguing while driving around in a car, leading to the assault.
A couple of oil workers saw the fight and the woman’s leap from the car. They called for help and she was taken to a Riverton hospital for treatment. The woman had suffered cuts and bruises along with a concussion.
U.S District Judge Nancy Freudenthal sentenced Smith. She also ordered him to pay nearly $9,300 in restitution for the cost of the victim’s medical care.