A Lame Deer man now faces up to eight years in prison, rather than a maximum of life, for the death of another man in 2017.

Derek Dexter Shoulderblade, 23, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Cavan.

The hearing came after a January agreement that allowed Shoulderblade to plead to involuntary manslaughter rather than the original charge of second-degree murder. The original charge carried a maximum of life in prison.

In September, Shoulderblade was at a party in Lame Deer when an attendee said something that angered him, according to court documents. Shoulderblade then left the party briefly.

The house belonged to 30-year-old Ozzy Lee Wilson. When Shoulderblade returned, Wilson answered the door.

The two went outside, and Shoulderblade hit Wilson on the back of the head with a metal trampoline pole. Wilson was taken to a hospital but died from the blunt-force trauma.

Shoulderblade remained in custody after the hearing. His sentencing will be heard by Chief U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen.


General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.