Portland, Ore. – On December 14, 2022, a resident of the Umatilla Indian Reservation pleaded guilty after he repeatedly struck a fellow resident of the reservation with his fists, causing the person’s death.
Tom Redhawk Tias, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter.
According to court documents, on January 26, 2021, Tias contacted law enforcement to report an unresponsive adult. Officers responded to the scene on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and located a deceased adult who multiple witnesses said Tias admitted to hitting. In an interview with law enforcement, Tias confirmed these accounts. The victim, who had an active Tribal protection order against Tias, was later determined to have died due to blunt force trauma to the head and neck.
On February 10, 2021, Tias was charged by criminal complaint with voluntary manslaughter. Later, on March 16, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland indicted Tias on the same charge.
Tias faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years’ supervised release. He will be sentenced on April 10, 2023, by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Marco A. Hernández.
As part of the plea agreement, Tias has agreed to pay restitution in full to the decedent’s next of kin his victim’s next of kin as identified by the government and ordered by the court.
This case was investigated by the FBI and Umatilla Tribal Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Paaso is prosecuting the case.