Wyoming Man Pleads Not Guilty to Carjacking, Assault Charges
A 33-year-old Fort Washakie man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he "beat the hell" out of an 82-year-old man and stole his minivan.
The alleged incident happened on Jan. 24, 2021, on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
According to a criminal complaint, the victim, GJ, was exiting Hines General Store in Fort Washakie when he saw Shane Duane Blackburn asking for a ride. Because it was cold that morning and the day before Thanksgiving, GJ agreed to give him a ride.
According to GJ, the two hadn't driven very far when Blackburn got a mean look on his face, reached into the back seat, and started throwing things around.
GJ reportedly told Blackburn to “knock it off” and then lied to him, saying he had a weapon under his seat that he'd use if Blackburn didn't stop.
This ruse did not work, as Blackburn looked even more terrible and mean, the complaint reads.
According to GJ, as he continued driving, Blackburn suddenly lunged at him, pinning him against the seat and the car door, and started to “beat the hell” out of him.
GJ says he was able to pull over but before he could get the keys out of the ignition Blackburn opened the driver's door and pushed him out, landing on top of him.
Blackburn reportedly continued to strike GJ, and when GJ rolled onto his stomach to get up, Blackburn started to repeatedly slam GJ’s head into the gravel.
According to the complaint, Blackburn got into GJ's van and drove off after a passing motorist who witnessed GJ being pushed from his van stopped to help. Blackburn was subsequently arrested in the parking lot of the Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel by Wind River police.
GJ sustained several injuries including a large abrasion on his forehead, two black eyes, and a laceration above his right eye that required stitches.
Blackburn was interviewed on Nov. 30 and reportedly said that he had taken methamphetamine for the first time the morning of Nov. 24 and as a result was “freaking out” that day. When asked if he recalled being violent with GJ, Blackburn said “not really.”
Blackburn was indicted earlier this month on charges of carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and assault involving physical contact on a federal employee.
Blackburn's trial has been set for March 14. If convicted, he could face up to 45 years in prison.