Written by Devon Boen
A Poplar man died Saturday, Sept. 1, after being struck in a severe hit-and-run collision.
The Fort Peck Journal said David Muskrat currently faces charges of murder, felony criminal endangerment and duties in the event of an accident after he allegedly struck Reuben Blackdog, 33, with his sports utility vehicle on F Street East in Poplar.
Blackdog was reportedly walking with his friend, Corey Youpee, who was also nearly hit, but was able to move out of the way at the last minute.
The Fort Peck Journal said paramedics arrived to find Blackdog lying in a pool of blood and that their attempts to revive him were futile. Blackdog died at the scene.
The Missoulian reported Muskrat was located several hours after the accident at a relative’s house, and the vehicle used in the hit-and-run was parked outside.
It also reported Muskrat may potentially face federal charges as well as the tribal charges already brought against him.
He was arrested, taken to tribal jail and, according to The Fort Peck Journal, has already appeared in court.
The Fort Peck Journal stated Muskrat was arraigned in tribal court on Tuesday, Sept. 4, by Judge Dana Runsabove and pled not guilty to all charges. Prosecutor Adrienne Weinberger did not believe Muskrat should be granted a bail amount because she viewed him as a potential flight risk as well as a danger to the community considering the nature of his alleged crime. Judge Runsabove told Muskrat he could request a bond hearing if he sought legal counsel.
The Missoulian reported the hit-and-run would be treated as a homicide, and The Fort Peck Journal similarly indicated the case may have been an intentional killing rather than a vehicular accident. The motives and nature surrounding Blackdog’s death have not been confirmed.
Blackdog’s body has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation so an autopsy can be completed.
(Editor’s Note: Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division were unavailable for comment as of presstime Tuesday. The Fort Peck Journal and The Missoulian contributed to this article.)